Bob Mould

Patch the Sky (Merge Records)

Phases & Stages

Turmoil traditionally results in Bob Mould's best work. Judging from Patch the Sky, the 55-year-old ex-Hüsker Dü frontman must've undergone the worst depression of his life. "I've had a solid stretch of hard emotional times," he acknowledges in a monograph accompanying this 12th solo disc, cataloging "more death, relationships ending, life getting shorter." Results including "Lucifer and God" and instant classic "The End of Things" equal Mould's most melodically explosive punk rock since his Eighties heyday in Minneapolis, all abrasive guitar work and barbed lyricism candy-coated by tunefulness. (Bob Mould plays Sound on Sound Fest Nov. 6.)

***.5

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