Thursday, July 31, 2014

Straightline- Alteration of the Rules


Confession time. Sometimes I'm a moron. OK, there are lots of times when I come across as a moron. You got me there. But in this case we're talking about Munich-based Straightline. There I was last week having typed up a review of their last album "Final Redemption". The key word there is last. I could blame it on having both digital recordings come in one e-mail package, but no, this one is all on me! Somehow I skipped right over this EP and downloaded the group's 2013 album to review. What's worse is I actually had this EP in my music collection already! After the fact, thinking to myself that the band's name was familiar, I checked through my whole collection. Lo and beyond I looked through my iTunes catalog and there it was. Then I went back and looked at "Final Redemption" again. How it is that I missed the whole 2013 bit about "Final Redemption" I'll never understand. I mean other than the whole bit about being a moron! So anyway, I scrapped that review and decided to just come back to this EP after a "cooling off" period! Having heard this EP then MORE than a FEW TIMES already I can say that I definitely enjoyed it enough to snag it and bag it at some point in time. My problem is there is simply TOO MUCH good music out there to remember it all! Whether we are talking about heavy metal, thrash or in this case punk there always seems to be cool new bands on the scene that push my memory of other bands out of the way. Not that Straightline is new mind you. Forming under the name of Softcore back in the late nineties the group recorded a demo in 99 and a demo EP in 2000. After everyone but Bart (Guitars of Steel and Voices from Hell!) bailed out of the project Straightline was born with the full-length debut album "No Way Out" appearing in 2005. In and out members went and now (with bassist Herzna, drummer Randy and a second guitarist named Enrice on board) we find ourselves back to the original reason for all of my rambling: "Alteration of the Rules". Remember when I said that Straightline were punk? Well, yes and no. It's true that the band is rooted in punk rock ideology. Turn on "Alteration of the Rules" and the first thing you're likely to notice is the classic punk rock lines. Of course I'm loving that and it made me remember why I dug this 4-track EP the first time around. It's snarly and a bit snotty and has that whole early eighties punk rock vibe going for it. But wait for it as there is so much more! What's that you hear? Late eighties/early nineties crossover? GBH-style punk metal? Napalm Death influences? Yes to all of the above my friends! Straightline might start off sounding very much like a familiar and fun punk rock four-piece, but by the time you hear the blast-beat of "Blistering Attack" come from out of nowhere you'll have realized how much ground Straightline covers! Fast melodic punk rock/hardcore turns into speed metal-tinged anarchy and it sounds so righteous that you can't help but want to go back and revisit it all over again! Please don't let me lack of consistent brain power keep you from checking this group out. Between 27 years of headbanging, the onset of "old man syndrome" and all of the various meds I take for my health my mental capacities just aren't what they used to be LOL! That the maker then that when it comes to good music there is consistency to be found with bands like Straightline! Find out more about these German rockers at their Facebook page below. Meanwhile you can hear this EP for yourself right here:

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