For a long time now, Bob Mould has been bringing his big guitar sound to pretty much every record he makes. Even when the records called for an acoustic, those wood grained notes were big and bright. So when we heard his new album would be called Sunshine Rock, we figured that big guitar would come back as triumphant as always, and we were right. The album is upbeat and bright, and the first time in a long time that we’ve heard an album whose title accurately represented the music within.
From the opening notes of “Sunshine Rock” to the closing notes of “Western Sunset,” one thing is certain-Bob Mould is in a good place. The entire album brims with upbeat and positive sounds. “What Do You Want Me To Do” will quickly remind his fans of his time in Sugar, “Sunny Love Song” hearkens back to early solo releases, and “Thirty Dozen Roses” has touches of Husker Du; and those are just the beginning tracks. But remember, these sounds aren’t Mould retreading familiar territory. In fact, Mould hasn’t sounded this spry in a long time.
Tracks like “The Final Years” and “Sin King” still have his sound, but also take his music down a new path that works down every winding turn. The record is definitely Mould tracing a new space to exist while incorporating a few reminders of what got him here. The biggest standout on the entire release would be “Irrational Poison.” That signature run down the pedal board alongside his big rock sound comes through with each hook filled note, even adding backing vocals just showcasing that Bob Mould is just as great when he’s happy than when he’s somber.
You can stream Sunshine Rock wherever you stream music, you can purchase it in all digital outlets including Bandcamp, or you can pick up physical copies in multiple formats and bundles from his merch page or directly from Merge Records. Bob Mould will be on tour beginning February 14 in Washington, D.C. at 9:30 Club until April 7 in Vancouver, BC at The Rickshaw Theatre. A complete listing of his tour dates can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Alicia J Rose.