Hüsker Dü’s Savage Young Dü in a flow chart

Savage Young Dü - Hüsker DüWell, this is a fairly cut and dry operation, as far as reviews go. There's not really even that much need for an intermediary between you and the record, at all, except that we’ve done some of the legwork for you already. It might even be better to complete a flow chart – if the answer is ‘no’ at any point, go and do something else. Listen to a record, read another review, call your mum; fuck it, go outside, enjoy your life.

Okay, ready? First part: do you like Hüsker Dü (bonus points for quite a lot)? You have to already like them – if you’re not sure, go and listen to Zen Arcade or New Day Rising. That’s really a lot more edifying than anything that’s going to happen here. Go on… Off you go.

If you’re still here, you’ve answered yes. Good for you, they’re the hardcore-lite act that it’s okay for normal people to like. You can listen to this punk with a heart without people thinking you have dodgy views about things. Few bands do melody and raw power in combination, like these guys.

Second question, then, now we’ve got that out of the way. Do you feel the need to listen to or even to own 69 predominantly unreleased, exclusively lo-fi tracks covering the travails of their early years?

If you’re still here, well there’s not too much more to tell you. You may as well go listen to Savage Young Dü. It’s very much for the completist if such a person still walks among us – you’re really not going to learn anything new or discover anything you didn’t know before. Naturally, Grant Hart’s death in September will have led to someone somewhere scrabbling for something to put out, and here it is.

Put together from board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is most certainly quantity over quality. Some of the live recordings, in particular, are pretty damn ropey. But fuck it, they sound like a young punk band having fun (so many awkward high school references, though). You can sort of feel them flowering into what they would become too, which is pretty interesting (remember, you answered yes x 2). There are also some interesting little signs of what they could have become, for better or – probably more likely – for worse. They might have done a punk funk (but they’re too raw) or an art rock (too earnest), on this showing.

It comes with a book and photos and stuff too, so you could get it for a Christmas present for someone if you think that’d be something they like? In all honesty, though, just go stick on a proper Dü record, particularly if you want to mourn Hart – it’ll make you much happier and be a more fitting tribute.

Release: Numero Group, 10th November 2017

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