It's tempting to call District Line a return to form for Bob Mould -- tempting, but not quite accurate. Mould might have started to wander into the electronic wilderness after his 1998's The Last Dog and Pony Show, a self-conscious farewell to rock & roll, but he revived his roaring guitars on 2005's Body of Song, so calling District Line a return to rock isn't right, even if its release on the maverick label Anti- suggests that this album may hark back to his Hüsker Dü years. Quite the contrary, actually: while there are plenty of guitars and molten pop hooks, Mould has yet to shake his inexplicable fixation on vocoders, and "Shelter Me" is a straight-up disco track, elements that he picked up in the years since Sugar's disbandment.
Dance music and Hüsker Dü's brand of post-punk would seem to be unlikely bedfellows, but that has yet to stop Bob Mould from attempts at perfecting their union. District Line delivers the latest dissertation in cross-pollination and like past projects it’s a bit of a Frankenstein affair. Mould mines the same topical vector of hopeful and morose in his lyrics.