Recently I stopped by one of my favorite record stores just to browse around and kill some time. Whenever I go in with a plan to find a gem, or something specific that I have been wanting I never end up finding anything. So, I thought that I would better my luck by going into Angry Mom Records in search of nothing. After pondering through stacks of used and new records this record just popped right up was immediately brushed aside for no one else to grab.
At a first glance I thought that maybe I had just found a reissue as many of their albums from their discography have been repressed lately. But, this wasn’t. In fact it was an original press on UK label Creation Records. I was shocked at my find, and even more stunned by the price tag of nine dollars. I did what any record nerd would do and look at the condition and the insert to see if maybe it was a bootleg, and much to my luck it wasn’t. I don’t look for records simply based on what they are potentially worth or their rarity. However I was very pleased to find that this was an original. So, as you can tell I am excited to finally have this record in my collection. As I’ve been scratching my head on what record should be next for this segment I thought to myself what better record than this one.
Beaster was released in April of 1993 on Rykodisc records (Creation in the UK). This was the follow up EP to the bands debut LP, Copper Blue released a year prior. These six song were recorded during the Copper Blue sessions, and written and performed by Bob Mould alongside David Barbe and Malcolm Travis. With a heavier sound than compared to Copper Blue, lyrically the EP is based around dark religious imagery. “JC Auto” short for Jesus Christ Autobiography being one of them along with “Judas Cradle”. However this isnt just an album about religion. Bob also deals with many topics he has written before in his songwriting with such themes as love, despair, and temptation.
If you are a fan of Hüsker Dü and somehow missed the boat on Sugar than you need to do yourself a favor and pick up this record. It’s a great starting point and would lend you right into their acclaimed full lengths, Copper Blue and File Under: Easy Listening. Bob Mould is known for his songwriting and Sugar is a great representation of his work with hook after hook and lyrical imagery. Oh, and he’s a pretty killer guitarist as well. Not many bands pull off the three piece bill but there is no doubting the legendary Bob Mould as that’s the only way he knows how.
Recently the band got back together to perform Copper Blue to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the record. That album along with File Under: Easy Listening were re-pressed on vinyl via Merge records. Copies are still available here, so don’t sleep on it and pick them up.