This review of the
Feb 1986 Paradise gig appeared in
#19 of Suburban Voice.
The accompanying review of
Candy Apple Grey appeared in the same
issue. Both pieces are uncredited, but were likely written by publisher
Al Quint. Photo by Rocco C.
HUSKER DU, SOUL ASYLUM (Paradise, 2/4) A trifle disappointing in that Husker played it extremely safe in song selection, opting for poppier material from the last few discs, plus a lot off "Candy Apple," while totally neglecting their past or even the raw tracks from recent efforts. No more unbridled recklessness, even if they're still great songwriters. I suppose Husker belong to the masses now and some compromise (whether they admit it or not) may be in evidence. As for Soul Asylum, this guy Chuck I work with has been raving about them since the show, but I think I missed it. They meld a buzzy guitar sound with harmonic and vocal cues derived from, among other bands, Aerosmith (it was no surprise when they covered "Seasons of Wither"). There's a complexity to their arrangements and lots of power, but it seems a little unfocused right now. If that focus is found, though, I see little stopping them from becoming a monster band--the tools are there.
HUSKER DU-Candy Apple Grey (Warner Brothers, LP) HUSKER DU-Don't Want To Know/All Work And No Play/ Helter Skelter (Warner Brothers, 12") Don't wanna be a party-pooper or nothin', but no 'FNX jock or Rockpuke journalist is gonna convince me that these 2 pieces of vinyl can even compare to their past glories. Husker are still above-average pop purveyors and there's the usual knockout catchiness on some cuts ("Don't Want To Know," "Eiffel Tower High" stick out at this point) and the Bob Mould meets Bob Dylan "Too Far Down" is a chilling and beautiful piece, but to say Husker have lost a large percentage of their ballsiness, I'm afraid, is an accurate statement. Wimp- simp fodder like "Hardly Gettin' Over It" and the awful piano ballad "No Promise Have I Made" don't dispel that opinion. I won't use the big label=sellout tag; it takes balls to start your major label debut with "Cry- stal's" barrage, but the edge ain't what it used to be. The 12" contains an 8 minute, extended mix bore ("All Work"), but "Helter Skelter" has a decent guitar- busting melange. Husker Du's most downtempo work, strong on emotion and feeling, but lacking the passionate drive that's kept 'em on top for so long.
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