Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Song #179 of 9999 - Hoover Dam by Sugar

Song #179 of 9999

Title: Hoover Dam
Artist: Sugar
Year: 1992
Album: Copper Blue

I could have chosen any song from this record. They're all amazing. I chose this one because I actually remember standing on the edge of the Hoover Dam and it was pretty incredible. And then I remember sitting on the side of the road next to the Hoover Dam waiting for AAA to come change the flat tire on the rental car. That was less awesome, but it was still a relatively good time.

Bob Mould rose from the ashes of Hüsker Dü with a renewed penchant for melody, releasing solo records that showed he still had a lot of work left in him. But as brilliant as Workbook (1989) was, it lacked the drive of the average Hüsker Dü record. And while Black Sheets of Rain (1990) heralded the return of Mould's unique overdriven guitar sound, the record just makes me want to hear Zen Arcade. 

On Copper Blue, Mould seems at home again, serving as the center of a power trio, his voice a fourth instrument always on the verge of being enveloped by the arrangement but never inaudible. With "Hoover Dam," Mould plays a chord progression enhanced by jangling open strings drenched with distortion. It's a grand sound for a grand subject. The guitar solo at 2:40 sounds almost bowed as one note bleeds into the next. It's a song that is meant to be played extra-loud but you'll still walk away humming the tune. Power pop at its finest—you should check out the entire album.

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