Okay, so trying to find 1980s albums to listen to are getting a bit difficult. I’m to listen to artists in order and, where possible, listen to albums as my husband goes along. Wouldn’t you know that so many of these are either on the 1001 list or in 1970s… which I have slightly over-represented. So it may be high time to revisit Husker Du, even if it doesn’t feel like a particularly long time since I listened to Zen Arcade.
Moving on from Zen Arcade, New Day Rising is a slimmer album than its predecessor by about half an hour – to the point that despite it being just over 40 minutes long, it feels like it flies by so incredibly quickly. I know I must have an attention span issue when it comes to albums that are ‘longer’, but the editing that has been done here works to the albums favour. Like, I know Zen Arcade is meant to be their definitive album, and it does have a better stand out song, but I think I prefer New Day Rising.
Comparing the two, New Day Rising is not as melodic and does rely more on the distortion – so to find the actual melodies you have to work for them. However, there is something really satisfying in being able to enjoy the song first as a cool white noise with some of the melodies poking through and then, on a second listen, reap the rewards as you start to make things out.
I think it helps that this music is still not too heavy for my taste and is beginning to move away from the harsher punk sounds towards a more alt-rock vibe. Like, I can completely see that this is a transition record from Zen Arcade to their later more power pop sound – which is making me look forward to their next album a lot. However, for now that’s two good albums in a row and maybe, in a year or so, I’ll get around to enjoying more albums.