Bob Mould's first solo album in six years (following the demise of Sugar) is unremittingly dark, direct, and brilliant. Entirely self-written, -performed, and -produced, the 11-song collection opens with Mould bellowing th... more »at he's "sick of myself, sick of everything I am" and ends with: "If I couldn't hold you I'd end it all." That last song is called "Roll Over and Die," if that helps provide a sense of the situation. In between, Mould rails with brutal bluntness about his personal and creative strife. Someone he "expected to grow old with" has broken his heart, and he's utterly grief-stricken. No matter how many times Mould insists he's "as useless as can be," and that what he creates is "bullshit," the urgency of such cathartic music argues to the contrary. --Steven Stolder« less
Bob Mould's first solo album in six years (following the demise of Sugar) is unremittingly dark, direct, and brilliant. Entirely self-written, -performed, and -produced, the 11-song collection opens with Mould bellowing that he's "sick of myself, sick of everything I am" and ends with: "If I couldn't hold you I'd end it all." That last song is called "Roll Over and Die," if that helps provide a sense of the situation. In between, Mould rails with brutal bluntness about his personal and creative strife. Someone he "expected to grow old with" has broken his heart, and he's utterly grief-stricken. No matter how many times Mould insists he's "as useless as can be," and that what he creates is "bullshit," the urgency of such cathartic music argues to the contrary. --Steven Stolder
"Okay: of Bob's five solo albums to date, I'm going to go out on a limb and declare this to be the finest (with full awareness that I will most likely be set upon by a thousand deeply offended "Workbook" fans). There just isn't any filler on this one. My favorites are the tracks that another reviewer has accurately described as the "slow burn" numbers: "Anymore Time Between," "Next Time That You Leave," and "Roll Over And Die" (which closes the album on every bit as harrowing a note as "Explode And Make Up" did on Bob's previous effort, aka Sugar's swan song). There's plenty of other great stuff here, though. Check out "Eg0verride," in which Bob playfully pulls off a lyrically self-deprecating, seemingly electric-guitar-drenched melodic tour de force which actually doesn't feature his signature instrument at all. (Yep: it's all keyboards, fed through what must have been a rat's nest of effects.) Check out the metaphor-driven, acoustic relationship epitaph "Thumbtack" and decide for yourself whether you believe Bob that he wrote it on the fly and recorded it in a single take. Check out "Hair Stew" -- with its big sign reading, "Hi, I'm this album's Experimental Track" -- and keep checking it out until you're convinced that it's a little bit brilliant in its melodic and emotional dissonance. (At the very least, you will end up granting me that it's significantly less annoying than "Megamanic" from the followup album.) And if you still miss that iconic Sugar sound, you've got the blistering "I Hate Alternative Rock," the coulda-shoulda-been-a-single "Deep Karma Canyon," and "Art Crisis" (which loses points in my book only because it's musically and lyrically redundant with "IHAR").One final note: some have criticized this album for being entirely self-recorded and self-produced on Bob's part, with particular criticism reserved for the electronic drums. As a drummer, I can honestly say that they don't bug me; in fact, I find them considerably less annoying than some of Grant Hart's work with Husker Du. ;)"
Mould's One-Man Masterpiece
Jon Magnus | Bergen, Norway | 07/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mould decided to do it all himself on this one, and it resulted in his best record ever. The music is closer to his most recent Last Dog and Pony Show than to Workbook, but it's rawer and more unrelenting, and has a more stripped-down sound to it (despite the flurring og his guitars). The agonized lyrics are extremely up-close and personal, to the extent that many people say Mould's too self-pitying and self-absorbed. These cold-hearted people can go by something from the Top 20-list. Expect spending a lot of time "listening it in", though, as it is also his least accessible work. Fans of his immediately catchy recordings with Sugar, might be in for a bit of a surprise in this regard... But give it the time it needs, believe me, it's worth the while! (Don't bother to play it to your friends and family, though, they'll only shake their heads at you.)"
BREAKING THE MOULD!!
email@example.com | 04/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peerless is a word that comes to mind when one thinks of BOB MOULD.Anyone familiar with his outstanding work as the kingpin in HUSKER DU and then SUGAR will be knocked out by this fiery and deeply personal collection.In fact some of the songs feel so personal that you feel like you are intruding in private grief
witness NEXT TIME THAT YOU LEAVE sheer unbridled anger at the breakdown of a relationship with lyrics to match ''You were just a bastard'' BOBS' not one for mincing his words and Much of that mood pervades this album as does his trade mark full on guitar barrage with the glorious vocals set well back in the mix he's like a new age SPECTOR but unlike 'OL PHIL' this man sure can write a catchy song or two ,songs that once heard, buzz around in your brain for days perfect examples being FORT KNOX,KING SOLOMON and DEEP KARMA CANYON both priceless pop/rock gems.
BOB MOULD seriously talented and criminally underated.
You can redress that balance."
Sugar's third full album? It is all the same.
cdswatch | Folsom, CA | 11/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Sugar disappeared permanently from the music scene, my heart was completely broken. From then on, I could no longer proclaimed it to be my favorite band. At least not my 'ACTIVE' favorite band.This album was my requiem for Sugar. It was a sad parting, however it gave me the last taste of Sugar. I highly suspected that most of the materials contained in this album were written when Mould was still in Sugar. It was a reminiscent of Beaster, Sugar's dark EP. Mould's ability to craft catchy songs while maintaining a killer guitar riff is undeniable. Songs like 'Egoverride' and 'Fort Knox, King Solomon' can be easily mistaken for pop novelties without the knockout electric guitar sound. The dark lyrics put a final touch to this strange yet appealing concontion.The 'Pony' album never produced the same appeal to me. At the time of writing this review, Mould is in a hiatus that seems neverending. Will he be back and deliver another one like this? That remains to be seen."
Great solo work
Jeffrey Brendle | State College, PA USA | 08/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been spinning the "hubcap" CD for a few days in a row now, some how Bob's deep emotional turmoil conveyed in music and lyrics is being cathartic for me. Great array of sounds... fuzzy guitar or sterile acoustic, pounding drums or quiet settings. This is a great piece of solo work with Bob writing and playing it all."