A hair-raisingly emotional, undeniably catchy, loud, mature guitar rock album, bolstered by the ace drumming of Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, Mould’s forthcoming disc affirms he is more relevant than ever. From the achingly honest and instantly memorable opening track, “Stupid Now” and the gorgeously-crafted “Who Needs To Dream” to the melodically inventive ballad “Old Highs, New Lows” and the Sugar-esque, riff-propelled “The Silence Between Us,” Bob Mould is back. As the as the career-defining District Line affirms, he is more than living up to his reputation as one of the great influences on rock music’s last quarter century.
With a musical canon that has inspired everyone from the Foo Fighters Dave Grohl to Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangaltar, Mould plays to his strengths on District Line, drawing on two-plus decades of groundbreaking work with underground heroes Hüsker Dü, the beloved modern rock troupe Sugar, and with a solo career that first took flight with 1989’s landmark Workbook. As a matter of fact, District Line’s last song, “Walls of Time” is an outtake from that very album.
“It was a Workbook song that didn’t make that record,” says Mould. “That was one of those songs waiting a long time for recording. But it seemed like a really appropriate closer for this record, when it popped back into my head.”
Mould, the iconic and influential tunesmith who launched Hüsker Dü nearly thirty years ago, is also more personally-direct than ever before. "As I get older my life gets simpler,” the Washingon, D.C.-based Mould says of District Line. “These are stories of my simple life in a complicated town."
“This record really sums up the past five years of being here,” Mould continues. “These are funny stories about me and my friends – things I see or overhear. It’s been a very positive experience and District Line is my way of putting it down in a book.”
Be it the infectious, postpunk dancefloor driven “Shelter Me,” the blasting, bursting “Return To Dust” (containing the very last lyric that was written for the album but proves to be the emotional centerpiece: “Growing old it’s hard to be an angry young man”) or the acoustic-steeped rock anthem “Very Temporary,” Bob Mould has delivered an album that’s as gutsy and forthright as it is flat-out brilliant.
Mould first gained notoriety at the helm of Hüsker Dü, purveyors of underground milestones like the epic 1984 double album, Zen Arcade, 1985’s New Day Rising and Flip Your Wig (all for SST) before jumping to Warner Brothers in 1986 for acclaimed college radio classics like that year’s Candy Apple Grey and 1987’s mind-blowing double-disc swansong Warehouse: Songs and Stories.
When Mould emerged as a solo artist in 1989, releasing his solo debut Workbook for Virgin Records, the disc was considered both an artful departure and an exercise in stellar songcraft. Replete with acoustic guitars and the presence of string instrumentation, the disc was followed in ’90 by the darker, electric-based Black Sheets Of Rain.
Mould returned to the band concept in the early 1990s, fronting Sugar. 1992’s Copper Blue was named N.M.E.’s album of the year. A second and final studio album, 1994’s File Under Easy Listening, was equally popular with alternative music fans.
Since 1996, Mould has release a series of solo records, including that year’s Bob Mould, The Last Dog and Pony Show (1998), the electronica-influenced Modulate (2002) and Body of Song (2005).
A DVD, shot live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., titled Circle of Friends, was released on October 9, 2007. Mould is in the midst of a unique, intimate tour (see dates below) to celebrate the release of the DVD: each night he screens the film, performs a short acoustic set, and is interviewed in front of the audience.
Now with the advent of District Line Bob Mould has come full circle. The complete track listing will be:
- Stupid Now
- Who Needs To Dream
- Again and Again
- Old Highs New Lows
- Return To Dust
- The Silence Between Us
- Shelter Me
- Very Temporary
- Miniature Parade
- Walls In Time
Circle of Friends Tour Dates:
10/9, Schuba’s, Chicago, IL
10/10, Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis, MN
10/12, Chop Suey, Seattle, WA
10/14, Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
10/16, Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
10/17, The Roxy, Los Angeles, CA
11/2, Highline Ballroom, New York, NY
11/5, Paradise Lounge, Boston, MA
11/8, Gravity Lounge, Charlottesville, VA
11/10, John & Peter’s, New Hope, PA
11/11, World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA