There’s a new 25th anniversary edition out of Bob Mould’s Workbook. Wait a minute IT’S BEEN TWENTY-FIVE YEARS SINCE WORKBOOK CAME OUT HOW CAN THAT BE–
OK, now that I’ve dealt with my approaching death I need to talk about this album. What a goddamn masterpiece. I’ve always loved it, but relistening to it this week was a forceful reminder of how influential this was. Hüsker Du had just broken up and we didn’t know what to expect from Mould as a solo artist. A reversion to early hardcore? Pere Ubu-style no-wave? Turns out the answer was “ferociously good indie rock.” Workbook is slick in a way that no Hüsker Du album ever was, and that’s OK. Mould strode confidently into the mainstream here without sacrificing his vision and the results are a shiny new alloy of power pop and post-punk. Bracing, delicate, and inspiring, a lot of the best work that would later come out of the 90s college rock scene was presaged by this brilliant album. Give it a listen.