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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
They Walk In Line
Medical Necessities
Rock Ridge Music

Rating: 7/10 ?


February 14, 2005
There are more pretentious artists making music than genuinely gifted and well intending musicians in the current state of oversaturated underground rock. A band like They Walk In Line becomes a breath of fresh air when they make good on purely organic collage of guitar pop, developing as a dynamic force in what has become a "free reign" of self-indulgent rock groups.

They Walk In Line's first full length record, Medical Necessities, is more about the basics: strumming guitars melodic choruses - elements easily forgotten in a time when keyboards and overabundant effects have become their own entities in "modern indie rock".

They Walk In Line are successfully able to flirt with an organic style of sound that bands like Creeper Lagoon and Pete Yorn brought up from the underground, as well as join in with Superchunk's buzzing guitars, adding hints of brazen new wave that actually work well.

It certainly has a dynamic feel of disjointed guitars and a subtle, yet detailed, percussion that never falls flat of a purposeful effect. It seems blending musical genre's is something the band does comfortably, while also defining their own distinctive style and communicating it without awkwardness. However, there is certainly a polished feel in the production of Medical Necessities, which gives They Walk In Line a friendly alternative radio sound.

Lead vocalist Michael Romero's voice is clear and distinctive, and he is able to forcefully eject his lyrics without restraint and at times could likely pass as Allen Epley of Shiner. Again, an unexpected encounter of vibrato in indie rock seems to be unfashionable, but Romero is able to communicate an overall natural effect, characterized by spontaneity and freedom from artificiality.

Album opener "Revenge" sounds like it could have easily been taken from Creeper Lagoon's I Become Small and Go, which also borrows from the quirky guitar lines of Doug Martsch - the unconventional pop structures-minus all the flashy wankering.

The band does a great job with minimal guitar interplay, which is subtle but ignites enough creativity to boast as one of the strongest songs on the album. Songs like "Mirrors Reflect the Weakness," "Medical Necessities," and "Miles of Failures," move in the same sort of indie rock blueprint as "Revenge": admirable melodies with absolutely no tolerance for recklessness.

The album ends with "All Mine", a hard-rocking, radio-ready epic that incorporates an experimental edge. Big chunks of guitar and reverberated leads ring over and infiltrate the root of the song, giving a formal announcement that the end of the album is approaching.

In an effort to stay clear of dangerous meandering, They Walk In Line show discipline in their passages and have a great understanding and penchant for structured melodies. Unfortunately, sometimes the album feels sluggish and way too safe for any really experimental or unique interplay between the four band members.

Medical Necessities seems to repeat itself, which could be its biggest downfall. Given more time, a sophomore effort will likely see these guys in the drawing room, fine tuning their strengths in an effort to defeat their weaknesses, as few and random as they are.

Reviewed by Mark Taylor
A senior LAS staff writer, Mark Taylor is a 29 year old father of a 5 year old son and husband to a wife of 6 years, living the simple life in a small suburb of Charlotte, NC.

See other reviews by Mark Taylor

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