Bob Mould

Bob Mould - An Angry Young Man No More

I feel a deep obligation to check out every new Bob Mould record. The early work of his old band, H端sker D端, was one of the driving inspirations leading to the purchase of my first guitar, and his debut solo album Workbook never left my turntable when I went through my first really bad break-up. Plus, he wrote the theme music for the Daily Show! His music has gotten me through some pretty rough times, and for that I'll be eternally grateful.

Mould is currently touring in support of his latest album, District Line, which came out last February on Anti-. Even though the record features plenty of the bigger-brighter power-pop upon which he's built his legacy, it's a fairly mixed bag of tunes, with Mould taking license to dabble in whatever he sees fit to explore whenever the mood suits him. Case in point: people would expect a fo,rmer punk trailblazer to steer clear of four-on-the-floor dance rhythms, but "Shelter Me" proves otherwise.

He also continues to dabble in electronics on this record, a love of his that he shouted from the rooftops with the 2002 album Modulate, and he's still looking for new ways to digitally transform his music. When most musicians ran for cover when Cher released "Life After Love" with its hyper-processed vocals, Mould ran to his studio to figure out how he could do something similar. To each his own, I guess. Since hundreds of really cool musicians cite Mould as a seminal influence, I guess I should allow him a little bit of latitude. Some of his electronic dabblings are actually pretty cool though, like the wicked sample-and-hold step-filtered synth on the track "Miniature Parade."

Lyrically, Mould seems to be coming to grips with the simple fact that he's not an angry young man anymore. Now 47, Mould recently confessed, "I'm generally content now .... There's ... sadness on the record; ... not gigantic, but it's there. It's [about] being content with understanding loss."

In contrast to his earlier vow never to take a big loud band on the road after 1998's The Last Dog and Pony Show LP (I remember he said something along the lines of "I'm getting too old for this shit" at the time), Mould is currently touring with a full band and digging all the way back in the vault to play some tracks from his old bands (H端sker D端 and Sugar) as well as some of his more recent stuff. If you're interested, Mould will play live at the Mod Club (722 College St.) on Monday night (9 PM).

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