Thirty years ago a trio of teenagers formed a kick-ass little band called Hüsker Dü that went on to become one of the most influential and commercially successful punk/hardcore bands of the day. When Hüsker Dü called it quits in 1988, Bob Mould went on to record the first of nine solo albums (not including Sugar or his LoudBomb electronic music output) that comprised a body of work ranging from folk-acoustic to the furious hardcore of his days past.
Life and Times sees the artist revisiting his roots from an observant and personal point of view. Life, aging and the dynamic of relationships gone pear-shaped play heavily in the 10 tracks that make up this record, which is a varied and healthy mix of acoustic, electric and a bit of punk. Be it the angsty and biting title track, or the hard as nails, controlled chaos of “MM17,” Life and Times is full of self-inquiry and speaks a language nearly anyone can understand.
The album’s best track, the lovely but mournful “I’m Sorry Baby, But You Can’t Stand In My Light Anymore,” explores a failed relationship. When Mould sings the line, “I always find the broken ones / so what does this say about me?” who among us can’t relate? Quality music from an old favourite, Life and Times is a mighty addition to an already great body of work.