Time for yet another installment of the Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda Files, where we blow the dust off of a forgotten favorite and give its lack of chart success a once-over.
Album: Beaster, 1993
What happened: Normally, we try to keep the Coulda-Shouldas to a standout track or single, but Beaster is an EP, so we may as well bend the rules a bit (besides, thanks to the holidays, we have about six readers today, which is one-half our average). Recorded during the same sessions that yielded 1992′s stone-cold perfect Copper Blue, this 30-minute song-suite angrily weds religion and romance, and it features some of Bob Mould’s most spleen-busting howls; by the end, you almost expect to hear him collapse on the floor.
Why it should have been a hit: With lyrics like “Here’s your Jesus Christ/I’m your Jesus Christ” Beaster wasn’t going to experience the same breakthrough Mould experienced with Copper Blue; it’s just too damn dark. But even at his most bleak, Mould is still a wiz at the big-guitar hooks, and “JC Auto” and “Judas Cradle” stand up with some of his finest Hüsker moments (and, like so many C-S-W entries, it can be had for a dirt-cheap price on Amazon).
Sugar – JC Auto [MP3, link expired]
Sugar – Judas Cradle [MP3, link expired]