Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Husker Du-Flip Your Wig


Artist: Husker Du
Album: Flip Your Wig
Label: SST
Year: 1985

Husker Du's final indie label record, 1985's Flip Your Wig, is actually quite good. I remember being very turned off by it the first time I heard it, but listening to it now, I see it's strengths and merits.
Right off the bat, there is a different sound to the album, which you can attribute to this being the first of the band's records that Spot didn't produce. The title track opens the album with ferocity, though, and the band's sound is very identifiable. It sets the tone for the album. The album is very straight-forward, and while still very much punk rock, the band sounds more like R.E.M. now than Minor Threat. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, because the quality of lyrics is much greater, and the overall strength of songs is also noticeably improved.
One of my biggest problems with New Day Rising is the vast divide between quality of some of the songs. While "Celebrated Summer" and "Books About UFOs" rank among the best of the band's songs, the last fifth of the record and a song or two in the middle really, really, really aren't that good. That album featured the band's first real lapse in judgment and songwriting as far as I'm concerned.
However, this isn't necessarily to say it's a big improvement on Flip Your Wig. I feel that the problem with this record is that while there is an even-ness to the quality of the songs, that quality is much lower than it was for the band's preceding efforts. It doesn't help that song length has significantly lengthened and that the best songs on the album follow a similar formula where the song title is chanted anthemically in the chorus.
There are some amazing songs on this album, there really are. And the production is so strong, and I really wish the New Day Rising songs sounded this good and crisp...the guitar really sounds almost better than ever before. But there are some seriously lame songs on this mature record. I will certainly be prone to giving Wig another chance in the future, now though, which is more than I would've set about it before.

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