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Metal Circus

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Editors’ Notes

Hüsker Dü's 1983 EP Metal Circus continues the band's progression toward accessibility. While several tunes ("Deadly Skies," "Lifeline") are clearly rooted in the furious pace of '80s hardcore punk, others—such as "Real World," "It's Not Funny Anymore," and especially "Diane"—feature the kind of melodies that would be further expanded with each new release. "Real World" looks at punk rock's infatuation with anarchy and other slogans with skepticism. "Diane" recounts the murder of a West St. Paul waitress named Diane Edwards with an unflinching eye. The playing throughout is tight and assured, with drummer Grant Hart providing a supple backbeat to Bob Mould's harmonic-infused, over-distorted guitars. The majesty of sound on the brutally intense "First of the Last Calls" is overwhelming; it's worth turning up and breaking a few windows over.

Biography

Formed: 1979 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Hüsker Dü and R.E.M. were the two American post-punk bands of the '80s that changed the direction of rock & roll. R.E.M. became a superstar band; Hüsker Dü never was more than a cult favorite. Nevertheless, their albums between 1981 and 1987 have proven remarkably influential; they provided the sonic blueprint for the roaring punk-pop hybrid that crossed over into the mainstream in the early '90s. Not only did they shape the sound of the music, they shaped the way independent bands made the transition...
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