Next Tuesday your local retail shelves will see the return of Bob Mould with his 7th (and counting) solo release, District Line. I’ve fallen off the Bob Mould train a couple of times in the past (see: 2002’s electronica flirtation Modulate), but, between hearing a few tracks, and having read numerous early reviews, and interviews, I am genuinely excited to hear what the man pulls out of his hat on this one. Check out the MP3 “Stupid Now,” below.

While Mould’s work with his previous power trios, Hüsker Dü and Sugar, generally worked within the constraints of guitar/bass/drums (all the while pushing their boundaries), his solo material has covered genres as dissimilar as acoustic folk, noise, and electronica. District Line is, reportedly, grounded in Mould’s bread and butter: guitar-based power pop/rock, with members of Fugazi guesting throughout.

In related news, SPIN magazine is running a great, candid, interview in this month’s issue (available online), with Bob, discussing the new album, his adopted hometown of Washington D.C., the state of the record industry, coming out, and more. Here’s an excerpt in regard to his legacy:

SPIN: Is your legacy important to you? Mould: I absolutely think about it. That was something I learned from getting to hang around with a lot of the Beat guys like Burroughs and John Giorno, just to sit and talk and learn what’s important about what we do. So if it seems like I get hung up on history or protecting memories, it’s because I was taught to. My concern, always, is not to let the past overshadow the present, but believe me, I’m blessed to have such a nice history to work off of, and I’m careful not to cash in on it. I enjoy talking about what it all meant, how we had to rely on friends for shelter and food, the mechanics of it all compared with how it is now. It’s romantic. I’m comfortable with that now.

As an early nineties power-pop staple, I’ve always really enjoyed Sugar’s debut, Copper Blue, but it’s the Beaster EP, the trio’s angry, loud, and at times, twisted follow-up, that I return to more often. Recorded entirely during the Copper Blue sessions, Mould wisely shelved the material for a separate release, as the tone could not be more different from the formers, (comparatively) sunny and upbeat disposition. With dark religious undertones running throughout, explicitly at times, Beaster is a dense work that marries Black Sheets of Rain with Sugar’s rhythm section and song structure. At six songs at thirty minutes, it’s pretty close to perfect.

Bob Mould :: Stupid Now (new)

MP3: Sugar :: Come Around
MP3: Sugar :: Judas Cradle
Amazon: Bob Mould – District Line / Sugar – Beaster (EP) ++ ++ bob blog

+ Download Bob Mould albums via eMusic’s 25 Free MP3 trial offer.

8 Responses to “Bob Mould :: District Line / Sugar :: Beaster EP”

  1. “Beaster” is one of the angriest records I’ve ever heard. I love it.

  2. Had the distinct joy of seeing Sugar perform BEASTER live, and it was tremendous. Malcolm Travis’ locomotive drumming on ‘Tilted’ was punishing – I felt bad for that kit getting hit so hard.

    Bassist David Barbe has made a name for himself as a producer, especially on his collaborations with Drive-By Truckers.

  3. Mould’s recent DVD Circle Of Friends is great.

  4. December 5, 1995. Sugar doing FU:EL and “Tilted” from the Beaster EP. I should have worn ear protection, but was too young to know. My best friend and I spent the next day at school mouthing “SUGAR!” to eachother in class–not because the teacher might hear, but because we couldn’t have heard eachother anyway.

  5. yep, beaster is the one i keep going back to. it’s just so good. the songs just pull me in. i become mesmerised by the loudness. i’m going to have to listen to this now. thank you! 🙂

    and ya, i need to p/u that new album. honestly wasn’t into his last couple or three. still usually see him when he tours.

  6. Justin – Allow me to shamelessly use this space abd plug the fact that Bob Mould will be live in concert on WXPN in Philly this Friday Noon Eastern. You can stream the concert at and if you missed it, you can hear it on later that day. Thanks

    Bruce from Some Velvet Blog

  7. Bruce–you are indeed shameless! Tracey

  8. Hello there…pretty new to this space…very good work !

    Even though I play some Copper Blue or Workbook songs now and then, Beaster is a album I return to on a regular basis. The format alone makes for a nice listening experience, from start – the repetitive acoustic guitar pattern – to finish – the church-like organ and choir. In the meantime it is something indeed, with such a live and tense feel…god I’m gonna have to listen to it now !

    Will check District Line of course !


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