Bob Mould District Line

Bob Mould District Line
Underground legend Bob Mould strikes an interesting note here, melding the punk, hard pop, balladry and techno that he’s explored previously for a cohesive set of songs. Lead track "Stupid Now” exemplifies District Line perfectly: Mould’s brooding baritone demands attention; Brendan Canty of Fugazi snaps his off-kilter drumming into action evenly; and the tune bursts into a charged chorus, only to lose momentum for a dramatic bridge. This dynamic pops up repeatedly, with forlorn acoustic guitar lines mingling with treated, hollow vocal modulations and dance beats, giving each song at least a faint electronic sheen. Even as "Again and Again” settles into a MOR, FM radio clip, it subtly builds itself up, as Mould tackles each instance of the title lyric with greater intensity. Fans hunting for philosophical nostalgia from Mould about his career have their prize with "Old Highs, New Lows,” whose melancholia is instantly usurped by the grungy, yet equally reflective, "Return to Dust.” By the full-on, dreamy dance rock of "Shelter Me,” District Line has mined its fair share of contemporary clichés, remaining distinctive only for Bob Mould’s flavourful vision. (Anti)