Alternative music reviews

October 11, 2005

Red.Star.Line by Red.Star.Line

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Dripping with attitude and possessing enough dirty great riffs to give The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club a run for their money, Red.Star.Line are not afraid to play loud – vocalist Tim Crosby is raspy and spits out his words with fervour. According to CitrusNorth, the band’s self-titled album starts off strong with ‘Katabatic’ standing out, urging to “take the money and run” amongst the straight forward rock n’roll. The London-based quartet have been compared to many modern bands – Jet, The Datsuns, The Cooper Temple Clause – an indicator of where their passion lies, and it’s easy to see why Red.Star.Line have created a buzz within the industry. The songs have balls, mostly hard rocking and don’t drag.

The pounding ‘Pure’ snarls like Oasis in their prime, with rumbling bass and a decent guitar groove. The other three members; Colin Lomas (bass), Rich Beniston (guitar) and James Rixon (drums) play their instruments with purpose and are tight and noisy. Likewise, the celebrity slamming ‘Rewards For Informers’ rides a wave of enthusiasm and grander with the hook solely comprising of the words “you are you are you are you are you are”. Luckily, there are other lyrics, taking pot-shots at actors with “you sell yourself far too cheap, so learn your lines and just repeat again, again”. With Seventies wah-wah licks and bass heavy rhythm, Red.Star.Line are strongly influenced by The Stone Roses, although vocalist Crosby sounds nothing like Ian Brown, instead more aggressive in his delivery. Album closer ‘Dead Man Driving’ begins with acoustic guitar and leaden introspection, thankfully turning the guitars on as the song develops into a Led Zeppelin styled stormer.

As with 99.9% of new bands, Red.Star.Line offer little in the way of originality or new ideas, but they have the edge over many of their ilk, showing swagger, confidence and rip-roaring rock songs that stand up to repeated scrutiny.

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Review by Nick Collings

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