495 # – New Day Rising – Hüsker Dü

In 1986 I was stationed in Orlando, Florida and I was really starting to get into punk rock. Mostly the Dead Kennedy, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Butthole Surfers, Suicidal Tendencies, and of course the Sex Pistols. There was a record store close to the base that had tons of alternative and punk rock and I would spend hours looking through the tapes and albums. My main “go to” punk band was Black Flag and then Circle Jerks.

I usually skipped over Hüsker Dü mostly as cash was limited and I had never heard any of their stuff.

 

#495 has corrected that. Released in 185, New Day Rising clocks in at 42 minutes.

New Day Rising is a good album and definitely earns it’s place on this list although I think I prefer my punk “purer” than this offering. Their music, at least from this sampling, seems to be an attempt to make an amalgam of two types of music. It is clear that they are trying to combine the raw drive of punk and the more mainstream rhythm and harmony of pop music. What is acheived is less than I would have hoped but still quite impressive.

I apologize was a perfect combination of raw punk angst and pop. You can feel the anger in the lyrics and the hurt and distrust and the desire to reconcile, but knowing that it is over.

Said I’m sorry, now it’s your turn,
Can you look me in the eyes and apologize?

Folkelore is a great tune, again raw and angry but I envision it being the background song for some twisted version of Schoolhouse Rock. In fact, I’d pay to see that. And I think the guys were channeling The Clash with Terms of Psychic Warfare.

But now we get to 59 Times the Pain, and now we’re tlking punk! This guy is a punk and he really detests me and you and all of this. Nice!

And the last song on the album, Plans I Make, has some of the best guitars and drumming on the entire album.

The more I listen, the more I come to appreciate Hüsker Dü

Also a lot of folks have clearly been influenced by Hüsker Dü and that I am certain that Hüsker Dü was a stable for musicians in the grunge sub-genre who were cutting their teeth on this stuff and getting ideas and turning it into their own stuff.

However some of their songs remind me of They Might Be Giants that take themselves a little to seriously like Books about UFOs and How to Skin a Cat. Please don’t misunderstand, these are good songs. It just feels a little out of place on this album.Also of note, I have read a few other reviews that have panned How to Skin a Cat and that is insane! That is an awesome punk rock song!

But over all a great album. It has the anger, the driving guitar and great drumming that really make this a great “punk” album. I would definitely listen to anotherand there are quite a few songs that I tagged to be added to a playlist.

Hidden Gem: Terms of Psychic Warfare

Best Song: Folklore

So far, so good…only one day behind. 🙂