Beauty & Ruin
Released on June 3, 2014
Vinyl includes MP3 download card
Bob Mould’s new album Beauty & Ruin is a twelve-track journey of loss,
reflection, conciliation, and coming through the other side. It may very well
be the most epic emotional roller coaster ever pressed into 36 minutes.
Well into his fourth decade as a singer-songwriter, Mould is as relevant,
ferocious, and poignant as he has ever been. Much of Beauty & Ruin deals
with the passing of Mould’s father in October 2012, Bob’s struggle to come
to terms with it, himself, and his own identity and legacy, and repercussions
of all of the above on his ongoing relationships in the land of the living.
Beauty & Ruin is a challenging work of raw beauty—and may well be Bob
Mould’s finest work since his 1989 solo debut, Workbook.
Bob Mould’s journey as singer-songwriter, guitarist, author, DJ, and all-around
MVP began in 1979 with the formation of Hüsker Dü. In 1988, Mould began
the first part of a solo career producing the aforementioned Workbook and the
heavy Black Sheets of Rain. In 1992, Bob gave the world Sugar, a reimagined
power trio that toured the globe and produced two albums and an EP: Copper
Blue, Beaster, and File Under: Easy Listening. From these releases came a cache
of songs—“Helpless,” “Hoover Dam,” “If I Can’t Change Your Mind,”
“Your Favorite Thing”—that remain staples of Bob’s live shows to this day.
In fall 2012, Bob gave the world Silver Age, his debut album for Merge
Records and the first to feature current bandmates Jason Narducy and Jon
Wurster. The subsequent touring covered four continents, ending in October
2013 in South America. Beauty & Ruin is in large part the sound of this band,
on the road relentlessly, congealing into the tightest unit to surround Bob
in his storied career. Two days after returning from South America, the trio
reconvened in Chicago to begin the recording of Beauty & Ruin. The
October 2013 session at Steve Albini’s famed studio complex Electrical Audio
consisted of nine days of band tracking and five days of layering guitars. The
following month, Bob returned to Different Fur Studios in his hometown of
San Francisco to finish lyrics for six songs, add vocals, and mix the album.
Beauty & Ruin is a product of a survivor who refuses to give up, thrives
through his work, and subsequently embraces the many changes around and
within himself. Bob smartly declares the album as “yet another bonus round,
and I am very grateful.”