Beauty & Ruin

Though he claims that he's "out of inspiration" on the searing "Fix It," Bob Mould is anything but on his 11th solo album. The former Sugar and Hüsker Dü frontman sounds fully invigorated here, perhaps fueled by the weighty subject matter: the death of his father – whose alcoholism and violence Mould chronicles in his 2011 memoir – and his own grappling with mortality. Backed by bassist Jason Narducy and Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster, Mould rips through 12 bristling guitar-pop tracks that, at their propulsive and tuneful best (the Sugar-y "I Don't Know You Anymore," the Hüskers-worthy "Kid With Crooked Face"), recall the classic eras of his much-loved former bands.

From The Archives Issue 1210: June 5, 2014