Monday, October 21, 2019

Warp Lines - Human Fresh LP - White Vinyl (/200)


Dirt Cult (2019)

I've bought fewer new records released in 2019 than any year I can remember since the darkest days of my music consumption in 2004-2005.  The big difference between this year and those years where the passion was being forcefully driven out of my by the music industry is that although I have bought fewer records, the quality of the records I've picked up this year is pretty through the roof.  There have been several albums that I've listened to and thought, 'this could easily be the album of the year.'  Add Warp Lines to that list.  This record is hot shit.

When I found out that the band was from Canada and had a member that did time in the Steve Adamyk Band, I knew it would be worth taking a listen to.  That said, I was totally unprepared for how incredible this album is.  Warp Lines manage to take the sort of riffs and innovative chord progressions that you would hear on a Hot Snakes album, but use them with completely different guitar tones and melodies.  There's a retro vibe in the production with a bit of a dreamy haze floating over the record, but the band cuts through that with sharp hooks and creative song structure.

There are times where I hear a Jawbox sort of vibe emanating from the band's killer rhythm section.  The drumming in particular is outstanding and elevates the songs even higher.  Pounding toms and punchy fills create the backbone of the band's compositions, allowing the guitars to explore new ground, while staying rooted to the goal of ultimately providing a catchy song.  It's rare that I hear a band that can change things up and create interesting soundscapes without losing the plot.  This is an album full of pop songs at the end of the day, but they're delivered through a band that is taking chances and building off of many disparate influences.

To sum it up, this record is outstanding.  It's definitely one of the best I've heard all year.  Maybe the best to be totally honest.  There's nothing I can say to recommend it as much as it deserves.  Just go buy it immediately.

Warp Lines - Human Fresh:

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