'Silver Age" (Merge) is the Bob Mould album that will blow his cover. One listen, and everyone will know that the former Hüsker Dü and Sugar front man is one of indie rock's best and most influential songwriters. Although he's never released a bad album in his three-decade career, this one crackles with a renewed fire on "The Descent" and "Keep Believing," backed by Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster and Verbow bassist Jason Narducy. You can hear why Foo Fighters idolize him on the melodic but pounding "Briefest Moment," and why the grungy ambition of "Steam of Hercules" will bring him loads more followers.
BOTTOM LINE Hard, tough rock welded to pop melodies