HUSKER DU-New Day Rising (SST,LP)
No, this ain't the "commercial pop album" that was
rumored. So what is it? Let's get abstract for a minute
or two. Imagine big purple and fuzzy sparks emanating in
the air, huge velvet flowers enveloping your head. Loud
airy drums and cymbals leaving a sonic vapor trail.
Harmonious and, yet, ragtag vocals, grainy sheets of
guitar slithering unstanched. Pop rock elements strained
through the Husker machine and emerging into the perfect
balance of pop, energy and mysticism. Got it? No?
Okay, I'll elaborate. "New Day Rising" is a pop album,
but it's Husker Du's pop album. The songs certainly
contain more hooks than before- the unabashed sentiment
of "I Apologize;" The lilting acoustic guitar on
"Celebrated Summer" and the glassy 12-string on "Perfect
Example." There's the mystical acidity of "Girl Who
Lives On Heaven Hill," with a totally seductive riff and
Grant's oblique lyrics on this track and on "Terms Of
Psychic Warfare." A song about a girl who reads books
about UFO's. And, after the pop is down the throat, a
chaser of abrasive, but compelling music. "How To Skin A
Cat" is a noisy, experimental post-punk melange, sounding
kinda like the Minutemen. "Watcha Drinking" is
progressive thrash that harkens back a few years and then
the white-hot guitar obliteration on "Plans I Make,"
nothing short of rabidly wild rave-up with scratchy
guitar lines, LSD on speed! I sit here amazed- how do
they do it- create music that exudes such warmth, but
also goes for the throat? Husker Du are summoning the
dawn of a new day for pop music. Label it, classify it,
analyze it, do whatever you want- but listen, because
this is about the best around.