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Baker's Dozen

Flip Your Wig: Bob Mould's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , June 18th, 2014 10:55

With his new, eleventh solo album Beauty & Ruin just released, the Hüsker Dü and Sugar man gives Nick Hutchings his top 13 records


Germs - (GI)
Ridiculously amazing record. That American hardcore was just in its infancy when that record came out and there was that first wave of punk, the UK stuff, the New York stuff, the Canadian stuff that was that hybrid, but to hear that record… It was a pretty shocking record, it was just so raw and Darby [Crash], those words, he was a young poet. We'll go right to Unknown Pleasures after this, 'cause there's a sort of corollary there: the frontman is sort of a poet, has charisma, there's a lot of damage - you know hearing the voice and identifying, but not understanding why. Years later it all made sense when I read the book and knew more about his life - the conflict, sexuality and stuff - there was a voice in there that I heard and it got to me, just the rawness of the record.

I asked Pat Smear about it years later, and he was like, "I dunno, I just made that record." But when I listen to it, there are two distinct sonic temperaments - there's the very crisp, tight drum sound and everybody's in tune stuff and then there are the songs where the drum kit sounds like they dumped a bunch of water on it and the guitar's a little wobbly, the tempos are slower and the words are much less distinct. I figured, "Did you guys make that in two days?" and he was like "I don't know" and I didn't press him, 'cause people ask me I did in the middle of the Zen Arcade sessions and I'm like, "probably went to the bathroom" - I don't really remember. Those things, they feel like one big thing, you can't go, "… and then we did this and then we did that". You're in the moment, you're out of your head and all this stuff is pouring out. When he said, "Eerrr?" I was like, "Say no more, I understand", but my observation as a fan was that there were these two sessions. [After Crash's overdose] I started to go out to Los Angeles and seeing the ripples that were still happening right after he died and take those in - he was an iconic figure to a small but really devoted group of people.