By Phil Scarisbrick
Ahead of the release of his 14th studio album, Blue Hearts, on the 25th September, Bob Mould has given us another taste of what we can expect from the record. Speaking of Forest of Rain, Mould says, ‘As a child, my mother took me to Sunday Mass. I’ve written many songs around religion. In the 2000s, I went back to the Catholic Church for three years – but I did not find my place.’ This is despite him agreeing with the core values- ‘In short, be nice to people, help however you can, and don’t steal stuff.’
These values though, at least for Mould, seem to be missing when it comes to America’s elected officials, as he continues, ‘But right now, I’m having a hard time understanding how certain religious sectarians can support the behaviour of those who occupy the People’s House. How can you endorse their disregard for truth? How can you tolerate the incessant vindictiveness? How can you stand by your man while people are teargassed to clear a path to the Lord’s House. I’m not good at quoting scripture, but I can manage two words: Jesus wept.’
The track itself is a direct distillation of this ire – with a loose, punk soundtrack driving Mould’s disdainful platitudes. ‘Would this be blasphemy: when you’re a star, you can do what you want,‘ he sings with a straight edged-sword pointing straight at the hearts of his targets. There is very little by way of dynamics – instead, it’s just two and a half minutes of the former Husker Du man eloquently explaining his anger.
Fans of Mould will doubtlessly be overjoyed by what they’re hearing so far from the new record. While it is darker in tone than last year’s Sunshine Music, it is still quintessentially a Bob Mould record. Now into his fifth decade of releasing music, he seems in no hurry to slow down his output, and that is very welcome.
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