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Monday, January 30, 2012

(the)Lines - Will You Still Love Me When I've Lost My Mind?

Name: (the) Lines
Album: Will You Still Love Me When I've Lost My Mind?
Year: 1987
Style: Jangley & Dark New Wave
Similar Bands: Midnight Oil, The Bolshoi, Game Theory, The Alarm, Aztec Camera, The Bluebells
"One-Word" Review: Gloomy-College-Fodder
Based Out Of: Brockton, Mass
Label: Sideman Record Company
Will You Still Love Me When I've Lost My Mind? - Cover & Record
Will You Still Love Me When I've Lost My Mind? Back & Record

Will You Still Love Me When I've Lost My Mind?(1987)
  1. Snowbound 4:43
  2. Someday 3:55
  3. Rain on Me 3:44
  4. On My Way Home 3:43
  5. On and On 3:06 /
  6. In My Car 3:35
  7. Indian Summer 4:38
  8. Same Old Scene 3:50
  9. Once Bitten 3:00
  10. One Last Time 4:28
Album Rating (1-10): 5.0

Members & Other Bands:Paul Carchidi - Producer, Management
Eric Hafner - Author, Vox, Guitar
Wouter Habraken - Keyboards
Paul Robbins - Drums
Bob Skaltsis - Bass, Vox
Paul Arnold - Engineer
Toby Mountain - Digital Mastering
Ted Jensen - Mastering

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of these guys. I respect the sparse album cover and enjoy the puzzling line drawn figure with the rotated face. But there is a lack of color scheme and the only chosen color is a horribly boring tan. It looks low budget enough with the minimal band info on the back, but at the same time, there is something appealing about the whole package…perhaps it’s the “this could be anything” mystery.

Album Review: “Snowbound” rises with a chilling, somewhat eerie synth section. The vocals remind me of the aggression that Midnight Oil conveys on their albums. There is a cold, early U2 and other desolate rock trait to this song. Soaring guitars mix with a jangly melody. I guess the Alarm and Aztec Camera would be good comparisons. Maybe Wall of Voodoo.
“Someday” brings us back to an overly complicated melody like the Alarm and much of the college radio of the 80’s. The chorus is just the title repeated over and over again to a catchy melody. But there are so many layers of synth effects that I don’t know what is bass and guitar and what are keyboards. The production is frigid and uncontaminated, basically much smoother than it should be
“Rain on Me” has a chugging guitar buried deep down to keep the tempo up, and the vocals are wondrous and wise, but not in a good way. They are more pretentious. But this is the sound that many bands went for back then, and the amount of echo imbedded in the songs feels like they were preparing for stadium tours. The end takes the chorus and extends it for a bit too long. It is not dynamic enough to maintain interest.
“On My Way Home” has a dark mysticism that like the Cure tend to produce. And the smooth vocals make me think of Tears for Fears a little. The song seems optimistic, but it is buried deep in sorrow. There is more echo and cold synth that draws a very drab picture of the listening experience. But it has a place, at events like the dark & cold wave of the monthly Sex Dwarf dance party in Philly.
“On and On” has the vocals experimenting a little more, and it reminds me a little of INXS. This song is a little more upbeat and sunny, but the church organ keeps it grounded in solemn-ness.

“In My Car” has an almost industrial feel at the outset with a factory drum beat, and metal grinding effects. The song evolves into the normal genre they have created of cold synth and shiny, fragile plastic. There is a little bit of Robyn Hitchcock in the guitar-bells effect used through out the song.
“Indian Summer” feels like it will become a Gene Loves Jezebel song, or that Siouxsie Sioux vocals will begin shortly. But the chorus of this song is truly bold and great. Even if it has the worst lyric in all of music: “There once was a man who thought he couldn’t fall. That man was me.” The line leads back into the anthemic and catchy chorus, and I have to look past it. There is a gritty guitar breakdown that has a little bit of promise, before it casts the hope away on a full on crying guitar instrumental. The chorus reminds me a little of Psychedelic Furs with deep vocals, and an overproduced musical background. It might even be reminiscent of Crash test Dummies.
“Same Old Scene” has a new waveish siren like guitar as its driving tempo for the verse, but the chorus is light and fluffy and gives away any edginess the song built up. The end of the song allows the synth keyboard a bit of free range, which it fills with a neat prog-like section, but it only lasts for 20 seconds.
“Once Bitten” begins like it is going to be Journey’s “Separate Ways.” But the lyrics are terrible. And they should be punished for the overuse of the synth effects and sections in one song. It is just too much and comes off as a mess. The melody might be catchy, but it is buried below too many ideas.
“One Last Time” is a dreary, yet potentially uplifting final song. It feels calculated and with purpose. But the emotional outcry in the chorus is too over the top, especially coupled with the flashy new-age-like synth instrumentation. Aside from the chorus, this song has a little more room to breath, there are not too many ideas overlapping, but the crystalline, earthy production feels about as shallow as a high-school football star.

Stand Out Track: Indian Summer

Links:Allmusic

1 comment:

  1. I saw this band live in November 1989 in a Boston club called Bunrattys.
    They also did a cover of "Dirty Water" and something from Flock Of Seaguls.
    They had a very English New Wave/Pop Style, wich was unusual for Boston bands of the era that were more garage rock oriened.

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