Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade (1984)

Everyone's favorite post-hardcore band named after a Swedish board game. This was the third studio album by this Minneapolis trio. Suprisingly, for a double album, it's pretty much all highlights. Opener, "Something I Learned Today", kicks some serious ass. With a martial drum rhythm punctuated by rolling snare fills and a propulsive bassline, it sets the tone for the rest of the album. Classic pop masquerading as punk, played at tempos fueled by cheap trucker speed and smeared in a layer of trebly distortion. "Never Talking to You Again", is an uncharacteristically mellow moment. A real 60's pop nugget, all chiming guitar jangle. Throughout, Bob Mould does his best to scream himself hoarse but even his anguished shrieks can't hide the fact that these songs are overflowing with melody. If you're wondering why this band is an American Underground Rock legend, this album should make it pretty clear: they fucking wailed.

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