Friday, June 15, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 58: Bob Mould - Black Sheets of Rain

Album - Black Sheets of Rain
Artist - Bob Mould
Key Players - Bob Mould - guitars,vocals,keyboard,percussion. Anton Fier - drums,percussion. Tony Maimone - bass
Produced By - Bob Mould

Release Date - May 1990

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- A co-worked mentioned Bob a few weeks back and it got me to thinking it had been a bit since I listened to "any" Bob Mould.

Overview - This was the second solo disc for Bob Mould after his previous band Husker Du disbanded. Bob would continue to develop as a solo artist with this record scoring a moderate college radio hit with "It's Too Late".

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- Bob wastes little time in getting heavier sound out. The title track "Black Sheets of Rain" opens the record. The guitar is heavy, punchy and crystal clear all at the same time. The bass and drums are mixed well and fill out the sound well. This is a headhone track for sure, you really hear a lot going on from just three guys. Bob sings with urgency and his voice strains a little on the highnotes, but much like his guitar playing, his vocals are trademark. There is a short guitar solo but the bass remains high in the mix without flashing over the solo. A second, and longer, solo appears and Bob is really hammering down. The solo is quick, and seems pretty busy with a few runs of a lot of notes but overall it is a perfect solo. As the song begins to come to a conclusion there is a lot of guitar work under the vocals. An obvious overdub but still, it all meshes perfect. "Stand Guard" picks up where we left off. Heavy guitar over a basic 4/4 drum line. Bob has a lot more urgency in his voice on this track and the band really clicks on this track. This track is a perfect introduction toBob and his sound, it has it all. When one hears "It's Too Late" it is not to hard to see how, or why this was picked as a radio single. It is much "lighter" than the previous two tracks. Fading up with a single, semi crunched, guitar the bass and drums queue it all togther. Bob has a little more subdued vocal part and this is the fist track that has some harmonies with the other members. There are "oohs and ahhs" over Bobs chorus. This is about a "pop song" as it gets from Bob. A stand out track that should be on any 1990's retrospective collection that could be considered a legit 90's retrospective. "One Good Reason" returns to be a little more dark. The music is heavier once more and the vocals a little more gruff. Rat a tat drums open "Stop Your Crying" which follows with some crunchy guitar. Bob sings the verse a little more "laid back" than previous tracks. That doesn't last as Bob has all but a freak out during the second part of the track. "Hanging Tree" begins with some single bass notes and acoustic guitar. After a few bars it slaps all together. Per the norm there is a great guitar solo and the bass and drums take a backseat and let the guitar work ebb and flow over the top of it all. "The Last Night" is another "slower" track using ride cymbal right up to acoustic guitar and Bob. Slow is a hard word to use on this record, but it is a break from the rocking speed we have gotten to this point. Bob sings wonderfully on "Hear Me Calling". A great guitar intro and Bob has less strain on his vocals on this track. Their is a good mesh of acoustic and electric guitars. This all leads to the "epic" track "Out of Your Life" there is an acoustic version of this below, but man this "electric" version just slays. Vast portions of this song are pretty much out of Bobs vocal range but again, this is what makes the song so perfect. The guitar, the bass the is Bob Mould at his finest. When Bob sings "Tell MEEEEEE, Tell MEEEEE towards the end you'll be reaching for the replay button. "Disappointed" has vocals given at a machine gun pace right along with the guitar part. "Sacrifice/Let There Be Peace" closes the record out with some very raspy vocals from Bob. The song is heavy and has a dark feel to it.

Where are they now? Bob continues to write and perform. After a run with his solo records he went on to form Sugar which was hearkening back to his heavy/fast stuff a little closer to what he had done in Husker Du. After Sugar ran its course Bob again released some solo records that were more "dance based". Bob even spent time as a script writer for pro wrestling. Bob has been said to have some hearing issues, so many of his tours are acoustic affairs but Bob still performs live.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - At some time during 1993 I was able to see Bob Mould live in concert. It was a solo acoustic show at the now closed "Club Babyhead" in Providence Rhode Island. During the opener (Jason and Allison) Bob stood in the audience and bobbed his head along to the music. When it was his turn he put a chair up on the back part of the stage and invited people to "Sit nicely" up on the stage at his feet. My buddy and I shook his hand later and thanked him for a great show. We were without a pen, or paper..and this was before cell phone cameras. Oh well, we had our "moment".

FDF Overall Take - Bob is a workhorse. Every few years he changes direction, but follows a strict path and believes in what he does. From the ground breaking Husker Du, thru his solo years in to the rocking Sugar on to electronica Bob has tried it all. He may have stumbled here and there but overall at least "SOME" of his work should be in any cd collection.

Bob is a blogger
Official page? way out of date but it is here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

This week, much like in the Pixies review on this site that was done, we will just skip over to the live show down load. It is a solo acoustic show but again, any song that would be added for down load from the cd, is one that would be attainable via the live show.

Please don't let that stop you from buying Black Sheets of Rain

or here

On to the download...

******MP3's HAVE BEEN REMOVED August 2, 2007 5pm ET*************

Bob Mould
McCabes Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, CA
May 17, 1991

This has been removed...

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


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