This seems to be my week – another band with that roots-rock/American sound that I love.  Lines West are a fairly new collective, hailing from Bridgeport, Connecticut – and this debut full-length, Stop Look and Listen made me do just that.  11 tracks of pure Americana-style – say what you want; there is nothing that gets me more than quality structures in songs built around acoustic guitars.

Starting with the chiming “Down To Me”, the melody is sharp; the vocals work perfectly and the song is spot on in total – love the harmonies.  I’m guessing the lead vocals are handled by co-writer John Radzin (who also co-founded the band with guitarist/keyboardist Brian Larney) and those vocals tie the entire track together perfectly.  “Blistering Heart” is awash with drama and a taut vibe – Beatles-que in its arrangement (!) – and a clever use of minimal chord progressions yet incorporating dynamic build up and great background vocals (these guys know how to write a song); “Easy/Hard” rollicks along with a driving riff and nice use of echo on the vocals – instantly classic.  “Bringing Heaven Down” is a neat, tight ditty (reins are held – guitar is cleverly muted, so to speak) with a great duet-ting vocal after the first verse and a classic-style piano solo and explodes towards the end.

I say here that I don’t need to dissect the other songs on this fine album; I’ll keep it short and say these 11 tracks absolutely are winners; another of my 2014 favorites.  Lines West have a new fan – this album is out NOW – GO GET IT.


About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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