Friday, October 20, 2006

Zen Arcade (1984)

"Pink Turns to Blue" The early stuff by Hüsker Dü, especially the debut Land Speed Record, often didn't get past an onslaught of unlistenable sludge. But then something shifted. A handful of singles and EPs came along that increasingly showed songwriting chops and a unique sensibility, using point of view, dramatic tension, even melody, to inflect and texture the trademark flying-V giant roar. I suppose nobody should have been surprised when one of the premier hardcore bands of the time proved capable of a tender, beautiful, harrowing, bludgeoning, and always interesting double vinyl concept LP. But everyone was. It was about the last thing anyone expected -- which is only one of the features about it that make it so sweet.

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