Bob Mould has had many phases over his 35-year career. The most recent one has been a return to the punishing heavy rock sound he perfected with Sugar in the early '90s. Last month, Mould came through Cambridge to play a solo show at the Sinclair. It was a different look for the Harvard Square club, which had folding chairs set out on the floor for the show.
Jason Narducy, who plays bass in Mould's band and records his own material under the Split Single moniker, opened the show with a solo set of Split Single, Verbow and newer songs. Narducy sang and played solo electric guitar, cracking jokes in between songs. Actually got to meet him briefly before and after the show and he was extremely cool.
Mould came out and got right to work, mixing classic Sugar and early solo songs with newer solo material. He had asked concertgoers to refrain from taking video of the performance because he was premiering nine new songs that were going to be on his upcoming solo album. The songs--whose titles included "You Say You," "Pray for Rain" and "Lucifer and God"--were similar in sound to Mould's recent solo albums, Silver Age and Beauty & Ruin. This, to me, is a good thing, as those albums are terrific. After playing that set, he told the crowd they could film whatever they wanted. He just didn't want the new stuff out on YouTube. I haven't checked, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone in one of the cities he played recorded and uploaded them; that's just what happens these days. Mould finished the show with some classic Husker Du and Sugar material, leaving the crowd excited and looking forward to the next record.