BOB MOULD Modulate (Granary/Outside) Rating: NN
Modulate sounds as though Hüsker Dü/Sugar mainman Bob Mould's years writing scripts for World Championship Wrestling have affected his sense of reality. The singer/songwriter largely abandons his trademark loud guitars for keyboards and drum machines. The concept itself is interesting, but without any real tunes it's hard to imagine who would want to hear Mould murmuring beneath amateurish electronic plink-plonk and brooding keyboards. The second half of Modulate is more successful, with the guitars and songs returning and meshing with the electronic production. But for someone who can write clanging pop songs in his sleep, this feels like an experiment that should have been kept on the hard drive.