Hüsker Dü Database
Magazine articles & interviews

New York Times Article, 23 Sep 1984

Onetime New York Times Celebrated music writer Robert Palmer was only 52 when he died of liver failure in Nov 1997. He was the New York Times' rock music critic from 1976-1988, during which time he penned this review of Zen Arcade. The article, as taken from the SST New Day Rising press kit, is incomplete; the second part of it evidently reviewed the Minutemen's Double Nickels On The Dime (and possibly a few other albums).

Photo credit: Laura Levine; Retna Ltd.

    Bob Mould, above, of Hüsker Dü;

      Hüsker Dü is often compared to the Minutemen; both bands are trios of guitar, bass and drums, both play at death-defying tempos, and both record for the SST label. Now both bands have made new double albums. The Hüsker Dü double "Zen Arcade," is the most impressive album of the batch under discussion, and arguably the best to have emerged from the hardcore scene.
      The band's guitarist, Bob Mould, is turning into an exceptionally gifted songwriter; the three most immediately impressive songs on "Zen Arcade" ("Turn On The News," "Standing By The Sea," and "Pink Turns To Blue")* would be superb material on any band's album. There are several lyrical, dreamlike instrumental tunes, and the album's concluding track is a 14-minute jam that piles dissonance on top of dissonance, using a theme-and- developments structure and propulsive rhythm vamps to hold things together. It is not as successful as the improvisation on the recent Hüsker Dü single, a revival of the Byrds' "Eight Miles High," but it certainly shows that Hüsker Dü has found a number of avenues to explore, a number of ways out of the trap of more-faster-louder that many more conventional hardcore bands fall into.

*None of which makes much of a case for Bob's giftedness, since all three were written by Grant!

Back to Hüsker Dü magazine articles page
Back to Hüsker Dü database main page