18 January 2013

Sugar - Copper Blue

1992 was a very good year for alternative music. Nirvana was riding high from the previous year with Nevermind, Pearl Jam had just dropped Ten, Soundgarden was on the road with Badmotorfinger, Faith No More were confusing and fascinating the world with Angel Dust, PJ Harvey was starting to gain press, Pulp were slowly become a big deal and there was an awful lot of guitar bands trying to charm the world. Then from the ashes of Hüsker Dü and after a brief solo period, Bob Mould decided to make a new band in the same style as Hüsker Dü but with him writing all the songs. The first fruit of this band was the album Copper Blue.

Musically it is very much in a more clinical mode than Hüsker Dü, but it does have a the charm, harmonies and general lovely fuzzy guitar on it that are the hallmarks of his work.  Opening with the grand statement that is "The Act We Act" followed by his new version of the Hüsker Dü song "Diane" in the from of "A Good Idea", it piles into the beautifully charming "Changes" and keeps going from there on in. Co-produced between Mould & Lou Giordano (who has also helped on Hüsker Dü) is just flawless and the whole energy of the album, even on the slower songs, does not let up till the bitter end after 45 minutes of joy.

If I had one complaint it would be the ending track for the album.  "Man On The Moon" has always been the weak link of the album, and any of the tracks released on the following Beaster mini lp (which was essentially cast offs from this album) makes it inclusion even more strange.  But overall there is very little to criticise here, it has reached it's 20th birthday last year, it has had the re-release treatment in a deluxe set and is still an album I have to listen to from beginning to end (even "Man On The Moon") at least once every couple of months. The band only lasted 3 years, but they burnt brighter and they were at their most illuminating on this album.

10 out of 10 - This is proof that there is a God

You can purchase here in various formats (and expense)

You can listen to on spotify here

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