Bob Mould - District Line Album Review
Bob Mould is a legend of alternative rock, known for fronting Hüsker Dü in the 80s and Sugar in the 90s - his credibility is guaranteed as a result of those two achievements alone, but his solo work has rarely gained much in the way of attention or critical acclaim since Workbook in 1989 and Black Sheets of Rain in 1990. That's partly because there's been little that's essential on the discs in between, with a slightly odd mix of singer-songwriter material (think Mike Ness on acoustic guitar) and slightly punky rock, but mostly because the synthy electronica threaded through the mix was a bit too Pet Shop Boys. District Line is stronger, almost F.U.E.L-like, although the synths do appear too often. There is a good sense of electric energy that builds throughout most of the songs - the opener, Stupid Now, is a great kiss-off that starts quietly and develops in intensity throughout. Return to Dust throws the classic Sugar sound into the mix and, with Silence Between Us, forms the album's high water mark. This isn't Hüsker Dü or Sugar Bob, but it is one of his best solo discs.