Skip to content

Rate A Record: Cheap Hüsker Giants

10_700_700_580_bobmould_patchthesky_900px

Listening to new music by bands you used to love can be a bit daunting. Like your children, you want the best for them. You hope they can continue to grow and do good work. You root for their success. Recently, They Might Be Giants, Cheap Trick, and Bob Mould (all former Crawford faves) released new albums. The various verdicts are dispensed below.

“Phone Power,” They Might Be Giants. “Phone Power” is available  from They Might Be Giants’ website with the nice feature that the consumer gets to select the purchasing price. Nine bucks is the system default, but it’s worth about eight dollars less than that. The quirky duo has had late period success with 2007’s “The Else” being particularly strong (production assistance from The Dust Brothers didn’t hurt). However, inspiration has been waning since the 2013 “Nanobots” album and this release feels like pure time marking product. John Linnell seems particularly tired of their absurdist shtick. The eighteen tracks include an unnecessary cover of Destiny Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” and a load of demo sketches impersonating songs. The white boy space rock/funk fusion of “I’ll Be Haunting You” is the only true winner on the album, although there a few other minor pleasures for the hardcore believers. Grade – C

“Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello,” Cheap Trick. Cheap Trick’s first album in seven years is a mixed bag – more pyrite than gold. The fact that the lead track is a generic rocker that Rick Nielsen gave to Greg Giuffria’s hair metal band House of Lords in 1990 tells you what your expectations should be for the record. Highlights include the multi-tracked vocals of “No Direction Home,” which cops a riff from Rush’s “Fly by Night,” and the lead single, “When I Wake Up Tomorrow,” which echoes Cheap Trick’s previous releases “Tonight’s It’s You” and “Say Goodbye.” Overall, it’s a bombastic production and the deft touch of Bun E. Carlos is sorely missed behind the kit. Skip the bargain basement Slade pastiche of “Blood Red Lips” and the heavy handed cover of the Dobie Gray hit “The In Crowd.” The band rights itself on the last two tracks – the Beatles inspired rocker “The Sun Never Sets” and the deadpan humor of “All Strung Out.” Grade – B

“Patch the Sky,” Bob Mould. As Iman Lababedi has noted, one time Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould has become a model of consistency in his later years – keeping farm boy fresh while plowing his power pop meets hardcore niche. “Voices in My Head,” the lead track, is an instant classic on chord structure alone and the momentum never flags. My only complaint is that lyrically Mould has never moved beyond existential angst, vague recriminations wrapped up in the-world-sucks-and-it’s-your-fault stance. Still, this sounds like an album that could have been released in Hüsker Dü’s glory years and Mould creates a glorious din of sound. He may be the punk rock Phil Spector, with less and better hair. Grade – A-

Leave a Comment





Amazon_Smile_logo
LET-ME-HELP-LOGO

Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at smile.amazon.com

Biding Our Time: Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

By Iman Lababedi | January 23, 2022 |

the goat and not the G.O.A.T

Going Steady: New Singles 1-22-22 – 1-27-22 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | January 23, 2022 |

a tune hummed by her son who is autistic and doesn’t speak

L.A. Burning: West Coast Concert Picks, January 24th-30th

By Alyson Camus | January 22, 2022 |

I am thrilled this hasn’t been canceled

UK Top 10 Albums: 1-21-22 – 1-27-22

By Iman Lababedi | January 22, 2022 |

one of their best pop rock efforts

UK Top 10 Singles 1-21-22 – 1-27-22

By Iman Lababedi | January 22, 2022 |

a hit in 21 different languages

Press Releases For January: Here Are The Artists

By Alyson Camus | January 22, 2022 |

plenty of surprises packed in less than 3 minutes

ROCKSTAR REVIEW: Isibella Karnstein

By Meredith Grant | January 21, 2022 |

A futuristic visionary

The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 1-21-22 – 1-27-22

By Iman Lababedi | January 21, 2022 |

The two outlaw bad boys trade verses and harmonize

The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release 1-21-22 – 1-27-22, John Mellencamp’s “Strictly One Eyed Jack” Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | January 21, 2022 |

waiting to expire and yet it has its moments

ROCKSTAR REVIEW: Dr. Mobi -Entertainment Visionary

By Meredith Grant | January 20, 2022 |

Mubasher Fazal lovingly known as Dr. Mobi is a superstar of many talents.

Scroll To Top