Don’t get me wrong, I love ZEN ARCADE. But I always felt it was ill served by SST’s in-house prodcuer Spot, as was a LOT of the stuff on that label from the early days. Maybe it’s unfair, but I’ve attributed that to people finding ZA “impenetrable” with not much to hook on to. Could you imagine how awesome ZEN ARCADE would have sounded if Mould had been left to produce it himself like with this album? Look at the Minutemen’s DOUBLE NICKELS ON THE DIME, it wasn’t produced by Spot and it sounds awesome! -Ian!
Husker Du has made a history of being one of the seminal punk bands of the 80’s. Listening to their albums, you notice their range of being able to play almost any kind of music. With Candy Apple Grey,Bob Mould(guitar/vocals), Grant Hart (drummer/vocals)and Greg Norton(bassist)show their ability to sing about one of the hardest things in life, breaking up. Mould and Hart write songs that get right to the truthfulness of breaking up. Hart’s “Don’t Want to Know if You’re Lonely” is a rocking plead to an ex-lover to stop tempting the narrator to come back for another heart break. Hart’s songs have a full sound that give an encompassing atmosphere of what the singer is feeling. His optimistic “Sorry Somehow” is an organ driven punk anthem about a couple trying to give it another try. Bob Mould’s songs are straight and direct, hitting you right in the chest and not letting go. The beautiful (and my personal favorite)”Hardly Getting Over it” shows a man trying to tell the story of a friend being ripped up by post-relationship depression and dealing with his own depression. You can hear Mould’s heart tear when he lowly sings “Now he’s hardly getting over it/Hardly getting used to getting by”.It’s one of the most emotional songs I’ve ever heard. “I Don’t know for sure” and “all this I’ve done for you” give Mould a little more kick to his emotional punch. ” Dead Set on Destruction” is a hard punk song that call to the day’s of Husker Du’s suicidal opus Zen Arcade.Mould’s “Crystal” fails to live up to the rest of the album with muddy melodies and swampy riffs that just don’t give you the real Husker feel. The same goes for Mould’s “Too Far Down” except that “Down” has that dark feel that Candy Apple Grey keeps after “Crystal”. “Eiffel Tower High” and “No Promise Have I Made” keep the emo punk light burning with smart lyrics and melodic guitars. Over all this album doesn’t live up to the thrash melodies of the amazing Zen Arcade, but it’s a great album on it’s own terms. Grey blends acoustic emotions and alterna-punk strumming in a way that is unbrassingly evocative, and it sets Husker Du as one of the most ambitious artists from the 80’s punk scene.
-some guy on amazon.com
Hüsker Dü-CANDY APPLE GREY (1986)