Including the tail end of Husker Du’s recorded output and his first two solo albums, Bob Mould has not spent much time on a major label. Yet, District Line would be the kind of disc the big recording conglomerates would’ve killed for a chance to put out 10 years ago. And we mean it as a compliment, for this is an incredibly accessible album with tons of commercial potential that handily delivers in terms of cohesiveness, songwriting and production. It also unites three main currents in Mould’s music: the roaring guitar rock he made his calling card with both the aforementioned Du and the short-lived Sugar (“Stupid Now”, "Who Needs to Dream", “Return to Dust”, “The Silence Between Us”); acoustic-based balladry (“Again and Again”, “Old Highs, New Lows”, “Walls in Time”); and his post-Sugar flirtation with elements of electronica (“Shelter Me”), all in a convincing and effortless manner.
There’s a lot to recommend on District Line but more importantly, it’s great to hear a veteran alt/punk rocker pushing 50 (!) making some of the most vital and faultless music of his long career.