Home Read Classic Album Review: Bob Mould | modulate.

Classic Album Review: Bob Mould | modulate.

The post-punk hero's experimental electronica album is better than you might expect.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Bob Mould sure seems to love pissing off the fans.

First, the restless singer-guitarist broke up his legendary punk trio Hüsker Dü. Then he did the same thing with the dearly beloved Sugar. Then he put out a mess of inconsistent solo albums. Finally, he left music and wrote WCW wrestling storylines for a while. And now that he’s back with his first album in four years, what does he do? He puts out an experimental electronic CD. You can almost hear his followers groaning. Which is too bad. Because truth be told, modulate. isn’t that awful. Sure, a lot of it is amateurish synth noodling by a man unsuccessfully trying to reawaken his muse. But many of the songs are recognizable as Bob Mould numbers, even without the live instruments. And a handful — like Semper Fi, Slay / Sway, The Receipt and Comeonstrong — are quasi-rockers featuring Bob’s patented wall of buzzsaw guitars (albeit slightly quieter than before). Granted, it’s no Zen Arcade, but what do you expect from a guy whose best albums include one called New Day Rising?