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District Line ‘ Bob Mould

BY CHRIS PEKEN

There is nothing better than jumping in the car on a summer’s day, winding down the windows and cranking up the stereo. And certain albums and sounds lend themselves to this endeavor more than others; Bob Mould’s District Line is one of those. The guitars are LOUD, that familiar wall-of-guitar sound we have loved since Husker Du is there in spades, even the acoustic guitars are loud when you are Bob Mould; yet they ring with more pop hooks and sweet melodies than most boy groups manage in a career. Gone is the darkness of his writing in Husker Du and his early solo work as he wrestled with his place in this world, replaced by a man comfortable but not complacent, dare I say happy to make his music his way. His forays into electronica on District Line are limited to the disturbingly disco Shelter Me, where it acts as variation rather than the substance as it did on The Lost Dog and Pony Show (an all too descriptive title). Now if only we could rid him of his vocal insecurities that leads to an annoying over-use of the vocoder then we could be verging on a Mould renaissance.

*** ½