review of s/t 12” from
Hailing from Vancouver, four strong Canadian upstarts B-Lines know a thing or two about punk rock insurrection. Their debut long-player is anything but lengthy, with a total of just nine songs. A typical track runs about a minute in length (the longest on the LP is 1:54). The LP flies by in just under twelve minutes. I played it three times back-to-back on the way to work this morning.

Stating their primary objective as ‘doing shows’, B-Lines claim to be inspired by a shared love of vinyl and cassette tape culture. The band are allegedly pinning their hopes on their collective ‘bad taste’ confining them to eternal ‘obscurity’. We like that! Rolling self-confessed influences such as Red Kross, The Angry Samoans and The Descendents into a silver king-sized Rizla, B-Lines forge a sound that strips cobwebs at will, and in these increasingly convoluted and over-produced digital times, that’s half the battle won from the get go!

When you grab a copy of this from iTunes, be sure and download a copy of The B-Lines EP ’n’all. That way you get another six songs, including the morontastic ‘Social Retard’, and the rather splendid ‘Dryer Fire’. Then you can take time to track down a vinyl copy on Deranged Records, but don’t hang around, there are only 500 copies!

In terms of sonic lineage, B-Lines riffs are spiky, their guitars sound immaculate. The bass cuts space like benzodiazepines cut heroin. The drummer could give Animal from The Muppets a run for his money. The songs have titles like ‘Hastings Strut’, ‘Psychedelic High School’ and ‘World War Four’. The singer yelps and shouts, in fits and starts. The music surges then falters, the tempo rarely alters. It’s all over before you know what’s mugged you, time for another hit.

As you may have noticed by now, I have resisted the temptation to conform to post-modern-standard-music-hack-technique and inflict personal observations with regard to who B-Lines remind me of, or who I consider they ‘sound’ like. In the current climate, the words ‘punk’ and ‘rock’ should surely suffice. All you need from me is my assurance that if you like Punk Rock and you trust my judgement, then B-Lines is a record you should move heaven and earth to own. It’s the perfect companion piece to Tyvek’s ruling Nothing Fits (In The Red, 2010). No comparisons, no hyperbole, no generalisations, no hacking jacket required. B-Lines: punk rock and fucking roll.