Let's face it, for those of us of a certain age, the musical heroes of our adolescence are getting old. It's always a bracing reminder of your own mortality to be realise that the artists who adorned your bedroom wall as a teenager are now of an age that would have deemed ancient when first they were met with blu-tak. Through the subsequent years, some desperately try to hang on to their youthful exuberance.
Lou Barlow has always had a scratchy, comfortable way with melody. Sebadoh coated his tetchy tunefulness in layers of fuzz, his couple of Dinosaur contributions per album washed it in sun-blinding layers of feedback, while Folk Implosion let it rattle home. His latest solo album, recorded at ….
Back in the mid-90s, Lou Barlow told now-defunct music mag Vox about his childhood beginnings as a songwriter. Castigating a family member's culinary choices, the protest anthem 'We Hate Cooked Cereal' may not rank among his recorded offerings, but the tale of its existence tells us enough about his searing honesty and willingness to wrestle with the listener's discomfort. Happily, these qualities remain intact on 'Reason To Live', his first solo record in six years.