Bob Mould has confirmed June 9 as the release date for his all new studio album, Beauty & Ruin. Described as “a compact epic,” Beauty & Ruin packs a staggering lifetime’s worth of emotion and experience into a 36-minute package sure to be hailed as a landmark addition to Bob’s formidable body of work. As with 2012′s Silver Age, Beauty & Ruin finds Bob joined by his longtime band of bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster, who will be backing Bob at this year’s SXSW as he debuts Beauty & Ruin material. Prior to that, Bob will wrap up the intimate 25 Years of Workbook mini-tour with a March 6 return to The Late Show with David Letterman and two final sold out shows March 7 and 8 at New York’s City Winery, both featuring Narducy and cellist Alison Chesley.
Track Listing :
Side A: 1. Low Season 2. Little Glass Pill 3. I Don’t Know You Anymore 4. Kid With Crooked Face 5. Nemeses Are Laughing 6. The War.
Side B : 1. Forgiveness 2. Hey Mr. Grey 3. Fire in the City 4. Tomorrow Morning 5. Let the Beauty Be 6. Fix It
CD / digipak (blue foil) + poster insert. Standard black vinyl LP is jacket (blue foil) + full album download coupon.
Here’s the deal. In 2012, people loved Silver Age (to a degree that surprised me, pleasantly), likewise Beauty & Ruin in 2014 (despite the heaviness of the subject matter, which I thought might be a bit alienating... apparently not. Another pleasant surprise.).
But PATCH THE SKY is the darkest one. After the Letterman performance in February 2015 where “dust fell from the rafters,” it would have seemed logical to go the punk rock route—an entire album of two minute songs—but that wasn’t where my soul was at. I withdrew from everyday life. I wrote alone for six months. I love people, but I needed my solitude.
The search for my own truth kept me alive. These songs are my salvation. I’ve had a solid stretch of hard emotional times, and thanks for the condolences in advance. I don’t want to go into the details—more death, relationships ending, life getting shorter—because they’re already in the songs. Just listen and see if you can fit yourself into my stories. The words make you remember. The music makes you forget. But PATCH THE SKY is also the catchiest one.
I always aim for the perfect balance of bright melodies and dark stories. I’ve used this juxtaposition for years. This time, I’ve tuned it to high contrast. The first side of the album is generally simple and catchy. The second side is heavier in spirit and tone. Opposing forces and properties. I love both sides of PATCH THE SKY.
At the core of these songs is what I call the chemical chorus—you hear it once and your brain starts tingling. The heart rate picks up. It gets worse—you know it’s coming again and you can barely stand the anticipation. Then, the beautifully heartbreaking bridge appears, and you’re all set up—hooked for life. Music is an incredibly powerful drug. I want to be your drug dealer. I have what you need. --Bob Mould
Tracklisting: Side A: Voices in My Head The End of Things Hold On You Say You Losing Sleep Pray For Rain
Side B: Lucifer and God Daddy’s Favorite Hands Are Tied Black Confetti Losing Time Monument
Ex Hex is a power trio hailing from Washington, DC.
With Wild Flag on hiatus, Mary Timony (Autoclave, Helium) needed a new outlet, so she retreated to her basement and started writing. To her surprise, the songs came easily and the hooks practically wrote themselves. Mary found Laura Harris and they hit it off immediately.
The pair played together for a couple of months in a tiny carpet-lined practice space shared with half a dozen hardcore bands and what appeared to be the better part of a B.C. Rich Mockingbird. In walked Betsy Wright from the wilds of Virginia.
She and Mary have similar tendencies, both defaulting to denim and The Voidoids. Betsy is a performer and an ace piano player, and before long, she was slinging a cherry SG as the third member of Ex Hex.
The group played a handful of shows and a couple of months later, in the spring of 2014, headed into the studio. Working furiously, they recorded over the span of two weeks in North Carolina with Mitch Easter (Let's Active) and in the basement of Mary's home with frequent collaborator Jonah Takagi.
What results is Ex Hex Rips, twelve songs about underdogs, guys stealing your wallet, schoolyard brawls, and getting bent. The record happens pretty quickly, so don't blink.
“a fun-as-hell supercharged take on Ramones punk and Cheap Trick power-pop, direct and catchy beyond belief” —STEREOGUM
“While the song’s reminiscent of Wild Flag’s rollicking material, it simultaneously holds its own as a sizzling and energetic little rocker.“ —CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND, on “Don’t Wanna Lose”
Tracklisting: 1. Don’t Wanna Lose 2. Beast 3. Waste Your Time 4. You Fell Apart 5. How You Got That Girl 6. Waterfall 7. Hot and Cold 8. Radio On 9. New Kid 10. War Paint 11. Everywhere 12. Outro