“Patch the Sky”
THE GRADE A-
BOTTOM LINE The indie-rock pioneer can still knock you out with guitar power and lyrical grace.
Throughout Bob Mould’s legendary indie-rock career, spanning more than three decades as the frontman for Hüsker Dü and Sugar, his main gift has been the ability to weld the catchiest of pop melodies to the heaviest of guitar riffs.
His new album, “Patch the Sky” (Merge), continues that grand tradition — which has influenced generations of rockers from Superchunk, whose drummer Jon Wurster is now part of Mould’s band, to Foo Fighters.
“Lucifer and God” musically sounds like it could have come from the last Foos album, but its lyrics raise the stakes, talking of the struggle for Mould’s soul.
Only Mould would pair his happiest melody and a rollicking guitar roar to a post-apocalypse anthem called “The End of Things,” but that is part of his considerable charm. “Pray for Rain” is equally sunny in its musical disposition, while masking the desperation of its lyrics.
Even more impressive is how the triumphant single “Voices in My Head” harks back to previous Mould triumphs like his solo “See a Little Light” and Sugar’s “If I Can’t Change Your Mind,” while moving that style forward.