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Bob Mould- District Line (Album Review)

District Line, Mould’s seventh solo album, is a swell follow-up to his bracing 2005 return-to-rockishness record Body of Song. You’d think the guy’s heart would get tired of having to beat upon his sleeve all the time–but here we are treated to ten new self-deprecating, brutally honest and often (weirdly) upbeat songs from the founder of Hüsker Dü and Sugar. It’s hard not to cheer Mould on in his desire to meld electronic and hard rock elements–after all, he’s been on this track for more than six years now. What’s strange is that the best songs tend to be those that get lost in either genre rather than the hybrid exercises. One does wish that Mould would abandon that annoying auto-tune synthesizer thing on his voice once and for all. Though “Old Highs and New Lows” is so far towards and through modern MOR sound, it’s definitely one of the more memorable tunes. The exceptionally talented Washington, DC resident busts out a few guitar-heavy crunchers that will remind old-timers of when they lost their hearing seeing either of those bands live. The best of these, “Return to Dust,” should go on for longer than “Reoccurring Dreams,” but is only four and a half minutes.
(Mike McGonigal)