Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Dü Hüskers - The Hang-Ups/Vertigo

It's hard to underestimate how much impact Hüsker Dü made. They are often credited with single handily inventing indie rock, along with being one of the most interesting and clever bands in hardcore punk. Though they were short lived, lasting less than 9 years, they managed to wield more influence on music than any other underground band of their time.

One of the jewels in Hüsker Dü's crown was their Eight Miles High single. A cover of the Byrds' sprawling, psychedelic classic, the single seemed to condense everything that was great about Hüsker Dü into one song. It is loud, it is fast and it is filled with anger and emotion. Bob Mould's performance on this single is possibly the finest of his career. He shouts the lyrics until they are indecipherable yet still manages to maintain the melody and catchiness of the song above a wall of guitar noise. Grant Hart's frantic drum rolls and Greg Norton's uncomplicated yet intriguing bass part provide the perfect grounding for Mould's frenzied and distorted attack. The track is a high point in an illustrious career. Why then would you want to take on the task of trying to replicate it? Well, it turns out that Du Huskers, the split single by The Hang-Ups and Vertigo, inevitably falls short but it makes a half decent go of it nonetheless.