Given Bob Mould's reputation for searing electric rock & roll, it may be easy to think that the title of File Under: Easy Listening is ironic, and it is to a certain extent. But beneath the loud guitars lie the friendliest, most relaxed pop songs Mould had ever written. "Your Favorite Thing" and "Can't Help You Anymore" are two of Mould's most direct, pop-oriented songs, driven by instantly memorable melodies and hooks; they are also the most conventional songs on the record. The best moments come when Sugar push the boundaries a bit, whether it's on the country-rock of "Believe What You're Saying," the swirling "What You Want It to Be" and "Company Book," the searching ballad "Panama City Motel," or "Explode and Make Up," which bristles even at its most delicate moments. Mould throws in one classic spite-fueled rocker, "Granny Cool," but the record's finest moment is "Gee Angel," a powerhouse melodic scorcher.
"District Line" combines the fire of his earliest work in Husker Du, the accessibility of his alternative rock, genre-defining trio Sugar, and the introspection found in his solo releases. He describes it as "stories of my simple life in a complicated town", that being his adopted city of Washington, DC. Working with Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, Mould has returned to the live band sound of Husker Du and Sugar to kick out ten songs that sound as youthful, energized, and immediate as anything he has ever recorded. This is a full on rock 'n' roll record, featuring members of Fugazi, and will appeal to fans of that band, as well as new fans raised on Alkaline Trio and Against Me.