Having undoubtedly spawned from the hardcore punk scene of the early 80’s, that Husker Du would evolve into something different is evident on Metal Circus. Songs like Real World and Deadly Skies present Bob Mould’s critique of mindless protest against the status quo. This resonates with lyrics like ‘People talk about anarchy and taking up a fight, well I’m afraid of things like that, I lock my doors at night’ or ‘I like to protest, but I’m not sure what it’s for’. This kind of cynicism might have been more apt in 2004 with the Punkvoter movement. Grant Hart’s songs on Metal Circus are a lot more mellow, employing slower beats and less distortion than Mould’s songs. However lyrically, Hart is quite compelling. The self esteem encouragement of It’s Not Funny Anymore is counter balanced with the eerie Diane. Diane is just about the best song on Metal Circus, telling the story a killer rapist who charms his victim into his car before knifing her. The fact that it’s told from the killer’s point of view makes it particularly weird, a weirdness complimented by the chilling repetiton of the victims name in the chorus. The tightness and speed of Hart’s drumming is quite special and together with Mould’s growling vocals and Greg Norton’s bouncing bass lines, it makes the Metal Circus experience quite an intense one. The ep ends in a cacophony of guitar noise against a steady drum and bass line, typical of that part of Husker Du that made them so unique. Musically, Metal Circus could be seen as a format for the 1984’s Zen Arcade, the most enduring aspect of their legacy, but this stands on it’s own two feet, this is great.