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The plan for this post had been to round up some recent LPs in fairly short order but on reflection I think this one at least stands on its own.

‘Beauty & Ruin’ is the new LP from Bob Mould and the second that he has recorded with his regular live band of Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster.

With 12 songs in 36 minutes ‘Beauty & Ruin’ features some of Bob’s shortest songs in ages and, as a solo artist, he has never sounded as much like Hüsker Dü as he does on the likes of the ‘Little Glass Pill’ or ‘Hey Mr. Grey’.

So unquestionably ‘Beauty & Ruin’ delivers the joy of hearing Bob going at it at electric full tilt with none of the electronic distractions that many of his 21st century LPs have included.

But there’s something familiar about the record, which frankly is all but inevitable after such a long career.

There’s been some debate in Bob fandom as to the relative merits of ‘Beauty & Ruin’ and previous LP ‘Silver Age’ with opinion seemingly split. For my money, I appreciate the direct approach of B&R a bit more but feel that the songs on ‘Silver Age’ were just a little bit better.

Still when there’s songs as good as ‘Fire In The City’, the very Sugar sounding ‘I Don’t Know You Any More’ and the aforementioned ‘Little Glass Pill’, then I’ve got nothing to complain about.

Bob and the band have just announced a short European tour for November. Although there’s only 4 UK dates, there is a Glasgow date not long after my birthday (celebrate!). And the Leeds date looks pretty darn tempting as well…

Full dates

November 6 – Berlin, GER @ Bi-Nuu Tickets

November 7 – Cologne, GER @ Gebaüde 9 Tickets

November 8 – Weissenhäuser Strand, GER @ Rolling Stone Weekender Tickets

November 10 – Amsterdam, NLD @ Paradiso North Tickets

November 11 – Luxembourg, LUX @ Rockhal Tickets

November 12 – Leuven, BEL @ Het Depot Tickets

November 14 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Tickets

November 15 – Glasgow, UK @ Oran Mor Tickets

November 17 – Bristol, UK @ The Fleece Tickets

November 18 – London, UK @ Village Underground Tickets

‘Beauty & Ruin’ is available now on Merge Records.

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