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Biographical Information

Bob Mould Michael Cerveris Matt Hammon Jim Wilson Sugar Husker Du


In the aftermath of Nirvana 's commercial breakthrough unhinging a flood of loud, powerful and uncompromising USA-based music, Bob Mould (b. 16 October 1960, Malone, New York, USA; guitar, vocals) found himself subject to the somewhat unflattering representation 'Godfather of Grunge'. The ex- Hüsker Dü songwriter earned this accolade on the back of his former group's considerable influence, but with Sugar he seemed set to continue to justify the critical plaudits that have followed his every move. Joined by David Barbe (b. 30 September 1963, Atlanta, USA; bass, vocals, ex-Mercyland) and Malcolm Travis (b. 15 February 1953, Niskayuna, New York, USA; drums, ex-Zulus), he found another powerful triumvirate to augment his own muse. Barbe proved particularly complementary, a talented songwriter in his own right, his presence as a forthright and intelligent counterpoint mirrored the contribution Grant Hart made to Hüsker Dü. Sugar's breakthrough, most visibly in the UK, came with the arrival of Copper Blue in 1992. SugarPopulated by energetic, evocative, and determinedly melodic pop noise, the album found critics grasping for superlatives. The Hüsker Dü comparisons were inevitable, but Mould was now viewed as an all-conquering prodigal son. Singles such as 'Changes' tied the band's musical muscle to a straightforward commercial skeleton, and daytime radio play became an unlikely but welcome recipient of Sugar's crossover appeal. The historically contrary Mould responded a few months later with Beaster; in which the melodies and hooks, though still present, were buried under layers of harsh feedback and noise. Ultimately as rewarding as previous work, its appearance nevertheless reminded long-term Mould watchers of his brilliant but pedantic nature. F.U.E.L.offered a hybrid of the approaches on the two previous albums, and again saw Mould venerated in the press, if not with the same fawning abandon that Copper Blue had produced. Afterwards, however, Mould ruminated widely about his doubts over the long-term future of Sugar, suggesting inner-band tensions between the trio. Mould confirmed this in spring 1996, stating that 'it wasn't fun anymore'. Travis joined Customized and Barbe was standing in with Buzzhungry. Mould wasted no time in recording and issuing another excellent solo album in April 1996.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 1998


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