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Hüsker Dü

Hüsker Dü: Metal CircusMetal Circus (1983)
SST Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: BrandonSideleauBrandonSideleau
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Long before what is known today as "melodic hardcore," there were a precious few bands playing a new kind of punk music, at the time known as "post-punk." Bands like Embrace, Saccharine Trust, the Minutemen, and, of course, Hüsker Dü. Here is a band that took basic hardcore punk and expanded upon it, much in the same way that bands like Flipper and Black Flag were experimenting with heavier, slower tempos at the time. Hüsker Dü experimented with melodic playing and occasionally poppy song structures barraged at all sides by vicious hardcore. Their 1983 album Metal Circus sounds almost like an exact bridge between hardcore punk and "post-punk." They hadn't quite yet moved onto their equally brilliant, exclusively melodic period yet, but this wasn't straight-up hardcore either.

Songs like "Deadly Skies" (which sounds to me like it's about nuclear war), "Lifeline" and "Real World" reveal the band's obvious roots in Black Flag-influenced hardcore punk, while latter tracks like "It's Not Funny Anymore" and "Diane" bring about a whole new, very melodic sound, unheard of at the time. Another standout track is the absolutely maniacal "Out On A Limb," which features some psychotic guitar playing reminscent of Greg Ginn's short-lived band Gone.

This (along with their masterpiece Zen Arcade) are vital purchases for anyone with any marginal interest in the evolution of hardcore. Fans of relatively newer bands like Hot Water Music must hear this in order to understand where that band got its sound. I'm not sure if this album is still officially in print, but it should be easily availible on eBay.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (May 25, 2005)

If you like Husker Du, check out a new band in LA called Ready the Jet. They have stuff on My Space. Three guys in their early 30's, obviously came up on college radio in the late 80's and early 90's. Very strong Husker Du/Dinosaur Jr./Jawbreaker type influence.

Anonymous (May 25, 2005)

great stuff-great band

Anonymous (May 24, 2005)

I like almost everything bob mould has had a hand in. Except his electro-solo stuff....can't bare that. get new days rising, copper blue and last dog and pony show....-----Travis.

Anonymous (May 24, 2005)

Best band ever let's be honest.... now listen to Leatherface, Pegboy, Phoenix Foundation, Can't Say, Jawbreaker, I Excuse, Dag Nasty etc and start your band and it might not suck, no more of this emo metal or metalcore nonsense. Maybe Warner Bros/SST should put together a Husker DVD and then i could stop watching bad bootlegs with bad live footage.
Real Genuine music from a genuine band, plus Husker Du/ Leatherface give the best justice to covers songs ever.

Anonymous (May 23, 2005)

Ken

I totally agree. It is the same around here. A lot of the kids I grew up eventually "outgrew" hardcore and started doing weird experimental shit. The irony is that they try all so hard to be different they sound just about the same in the end.

A lot of the hardcore kids eventually moved on to electroclash. Four of my good friends stopped listening to hardcore altogether and bought turntables and started spinning electroclash.

Anonymous (May 22, 2005)

This EP is a classic. This review could be better though.

Greg Ginn charging 13 bucks for a new copy--plastic or vinyl--is simply disgusting.

the_wang (May 22, 2005)

The Wall sucks. Wish You Were Here and Dark Side Of The Moon are both way way better.

i have 3 words

the final cut

Anonymous (May 21, 2005)

Actually, Warehouse is probably my favorite. I was gunna write a review for it, but I suppose I can leave it to Brandon.

Anonymous (May 21, 2005)

I wish there was a label around right now with the balls and variety that SST once had. Just think, they had basically something for everyone into independent music.

xmidipunkbastardx (May 21, 2005)

it just doesn't get better than this.
(except for maybe flip your wig and new day rising)

CorpseOfMyMotivation (May 21, 2005)

Everyone around here plays thrash and grind now.

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

Man, why is it that all the local guys in my town who played hardcore in the early 80's now have really spaced-out improv bands with like 3 guys running around hitting cowbells with spaceman spiff helmets on? I hope to god that this is just a michigan thing - anyone else have similar phenomena in their towns?

Nothing saddens me more than 3 guys who used to rock embarassing themselves to enya riffs.

-Ken

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

about time another husker du album was reviewed...now lets get the rest of the catalog on here. new day rising and flip your wig reviews please

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

new day rising, flip your wig, zen arcade, metal circus and candy apple grey are albums that are way too good to be forgotten
yes hüsker dü rules

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

I've honestly never been able to figure out which album I like more between New Day Rising and Zen Arcade.

TheOneTrueBill (May 20, 2005)

Warehouse is too much for me. I have trouble getting all the way through it in one listen.

"It's Not Funny Anymore" is one of those songs that everyone wishes they wrote. I don't know they did it, but it's an absolutly amazing song.

cdogg (May 20, 2005)

Even though I love Husker Du and think this is a good album overall, it's one of my least favorite releases from them. Brandon - you should write a "Warehouse" review. Everyone always goes on and on about Zen and New Day (which both rule), but nobody gives props to Warehouse.

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

The Wall sucks. Wish You Were Here and Dark Side Of The Moon are both way way better.

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

post-punk was the term used to describe bands that were inspired by the original explosion of punk in '77 but took it in different directions: ie joy division, the birthday party, the cure etc. husker du is post-hardcore, which is the term to describe bands like fugazi, jawbox etc, bands that started out playing hardcore punk (or members were in bands that previously that played that style) and then branched off into new directions, usually orriented around unique guitar sounds and more abstract lyrical approaches.

anyways, this is a good record, but i think the best was still yet to come from these guys.

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

This website would be a lot more friendly if you only posted reviews of records that kids were told were ok to love. Coming next week: a review of The Wall.

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

brilliant band period. i know everyone say Zen Arcade is their best album, but for some reason i've always liked Everything Falls Apart, even if it wasn't the most consistent, there's so many killer songs on there. Best singer in 80s punk rock.

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

this is a classic, but i still think new day rising is the best.

MarkieStabone (May 20, 2005)

now THIS is a fucking classic

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