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Thursday 3 February 2022

You Gotta Keep Hanging On

In 1985 Husker Du released Flip Your Wig, an album that saw them end their time with SST before their move to a major and a record chock full of songs that the band self- produced, the confidence in the melodies and higher quality production evident from the moment the needle first hits the groove. That it was recorded and released only a year after Zen Arcade and a few months after New Day Rising shows how fast they were moving at this point. Bob Mould and Grant Hart were close to their peaks as songwriters, each one contributing back catalogue highpoints. 

Towards the end of side two Grant hits the bullseye with this song, a cathartic and heartfelt three minutes and nineteen seconds. After a clanging distorted guitar chord Greg Norton's bass and Grant's bass drum and cymbals ride in, pushing the song to the crest of the wave, the moment Grant starts singing his heart out. Bob's guitar is underneath not on top of the song, single notes and arpeggios rippling and chiming (although his solo at one minute thirty five is a blistering, paint stripping affair). Grant continues on through the second and third verses and then the refrain, a man who never meant anything more than this, hollering and screaming, 'oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God' and 'you gotta keep hanging on' until Bob and Greg's poppy backing vocals take over to the end. You gotta keep hanging on. 

Keep Hanging On


JTFL said...

This is one of those LP's that, 10 years on or so when guitar bands come back in fashion, folks will say they're reminded of.

Anonymous said...

Flip your wig is insanely good.