Bob Mould – Patch the Sky (Merge Records, 2016)
On his 12th solo release, singer/songwriter Bob Mould has crafted, well, a Bob Mould record, for better or worse. With personal, introspective themes matched in sharp contrast against his signature fuzz-drenched power pop, there’s little that truly separates Patch the Sky from his catalogue, though that’s not entirely a bad thing. Since forming and shuttering his post-Hüsker Dü power pop trio Sugar, Mould’s gone to the power pop well and back, exploring every inch of the genre’s angular and sweet trappings. If Silver Age was a return to Sugar’s noisier days, Patch the Sky finds the singer honing his candy-coated formula into an even more immediately approachable direction, its lyrical themes notwithstanding. It’s a ride largely devoid of surprises or innovation, serving as a reminder of Bob Mould’s potency when armed with a Stratocaster and a fuzz box.
Trial Track: “Daddy’s Favorite”