Bob Mould is again up in arms, the same proprietor of punk-action he was in Husker Du. After a respite for 2019’s Sunshine Rock, a self described “Angry Bob” is back on Blue Hearts along with all of the ferocity and conviction that he has been known for since the eighties. 

Mould has spent the past three and a half years living in Berlin, Germany, and while Sunshine Rock was indicative of his time in Berlin, Blue Hearts is steeped in a righteous anger squarely aimed at some unavoidable and distinctly American defects.

“Universal themes, inequities, marginalizing, climate change, discrimination….all these things have been here for a long time, I guess I didn’t consider as I was writing and recording this record that it would all culminate in such a pronounced way.”

Having been brought up in the church, leaving at young age, and returning briefly later in life as an openly gay man, Mould offers unique insight, rightfully at arms-length. Though often delivered in a sardonic tone (“People do the darndest things!”), he largely targets hypocrisy rather than belittling belief systems:

“When people are establishing laws that marginalize my existence, yet they are somehow exempt from those dictums, that’s where I have the problem.” 

For all his scrutiny, Mould displays an unexpected and unguarded, almost child-like idealism, in his belief in the extraordinary power of music. 

“To this day I still hold onto that idea that music can change the world.”

Though our country is still deeply discordant, this sentiment must be at least somewhat true – as he now sings openly about his sexuality – and two irrefutable facts remain: he is as good as he ever was and his warning will not be ignored.