having left a permanent mark with both his bands, husker d and sugar, and with a half-dozen, uncompromising solo albums released during and after these bands lived, bob has long been regarded as a name at the forefront of american music. not one for sentiment, bob prefers to ignore his legacy and 'cult status', going straight to what he does best - namely that of making hair-raisingly emotional, undeniably catchy, loud, mature, guitar rock. 'district line' - his first for beggars banquet - instantly sounds both familiar and classic. inspired by bob's adopted home of washington d.c., he regards his last five years living there as having been 'a very positive experience' and that this album is his 'way of putting it down in a book'. providing a backbone to the record is brendan canty (fugazi), a perfect foil to mould's determined guitar riffs, insistent basslines and passionate, vulnerable singing, while the beautifully bittersweet cello comes courtesy of amy domingues. they make a huge sound for a small team and fans will delight in this, a new 'loud bob' record. recorded in a warehouse space with a mobile studio, 'district line' is a dozen flavours of mould's inspired, instantly memorable, melodic songwriting and playing. the inimitable blasting, bursting, guitar-smacked choruses of 'stupid now', 'who needs to dream?', 'return to dust', 'the silence between us' and 'very temporary' sit comfortably with the folk-tinged 'again and again' and 'walls of time', the more fanciful 'miniature parade', and the electronic-laced postpunk dance stomp, 'shelter me'. if you haven't heard bob before, then this could be just the introduction.