New Day Rising
Recorded in July 1984, continuing Hüsker Dü’s breakneck schedule by coming only months behind Zen Arcade, New Day Rising takes the style of the most accessible pieces on that album into a cohesive single album statement. The production sounds awful, but generally it works in the album’s favour; the thin guitar sound cuts through and gives the record an edgy quality. Hart continues in the same melodic vein as songs like ‘Pink Turns To Blue’, except this time they’re positive and life-affirming – ‘Terms of Psychic Warfare’ and ‘Books About UFO’ are bouncy and quirky, and he injects ‘The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill’ with venom by playing it at breakneck speed and screaming through the final verse. Mould’s also inching into more melodic territory with songs like ‘Celebrated Summer’ and ‘I Apologise’, although there’s still an abrasive edge to much of his writing: ’59 Times The Pain’ jumps from guttural and cryptic verses to an open and catchy chorus. It’s amazing that any band could make an album this strong so soon after an exhaustive double set; it’s a highlight even in Hüsker Dü’s strong catalogue. If it wasn’t for the relatively weak ending, New Day Rising would be a contender for the band’s best album.