One Track Mind: Bob Mould, “I Don’t Know You Anymore” from Beauty and Ruin (2014)

The only thing, it seems, that ever reliably pierced the twined armor of Bob Mould’s squalling guitar and emotionally serrated singing style was the former Husker Du frontman’s penchant for revelatory hooks. Same here.

“I Don’t Know You Anymore” is, at least on its bristling surface, a gut punch of a song, all angry recriminations and hurt feelings. But then, as Mould dashes into the chorus — here, alongside Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster — he’s all of the sudden hanging ten on the surging wave of sun-flecked pop goodness.

Not for long, of course. As with Husker (and Mould’s subsequent band Sugar), there are several layers to “I Don’t Know You Anymore,” each of them seemingly at odds with the other. And that’s the power and glory of this track, which serves as another tangy advance taste from the apparently perfectly named forthcoming Beauty and Ruin. On one level, Mould is swinging wildly, even as he goes down — but on the other, there’s a perfect majesty to the song’s construction that couldn’t be further away from a bloody-knuckled round house.

In other words, it’s classic Bob Mould. Beauty and Ruin, his follow up to 2012’s Silver Age, is due via Merge Records on June 3, 2014 in North America and on June 9 in Europe and the UK.

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at