Straight Lines at Boston Music Room
Welsh band Straight Lines is part of an endangered species. Their repertoire is made up of dancey punk riffs and heavy beats that emerged from that strange and very American pop-punk era of ten years past. Headliners of a 2000s vibe night at the Boston Music Room, they are anything but unprecedented. The first song of the set, Freaks Like Us, is a good introduction to their sound – one that is spot-on, but not really their own.
The small venue with no more than a hundred people contrasts with the rock-star attitude of vocalist Thomas Jenkins, plays an awkward tapping solo, and addresses the audience as “London” when pleading to “make some noise”. The fact that drummer Dane Campbell is wearing an Elton John shirt, and Jenkins a Harley Davidson one, adds very little to this aura of authenticity they are trying to pull off.
The mood is abruptly changed when Tompkins is left alone to sing and play Ring the Bells, to which he can’t resist the urge of making a pun joke, implying that this acoustic song (played with an electric guitar) might sound familiar. The disparateness of the situation grows with the realisation that this kid actually has a great pop voice, and that he might just be better off pursuing a solo career singing love ballads. But as soon as the tune is over, they’re back to the emo sounds of the turn of the century.
Say It for Your Sake, Antics and Loose Change are among the attendee’s favourites, as they have that perfect mixture of passionate screaming, pop lyrics and loud guitars that define the genre. The audience is having a great time. In fact, they look so into it that one might wonder what year it is. But, no, it isn’t 2006 when Yellowcard, AFI, and Fall Out Boy would figure in the music charts. Straight Lines have been missing out on all the great music of the last decade. They are basically a garage band emulating their favourite – and out dated – music acts. It is not necessarily a creative merit, but at least, in all honesty, they’re really good at it.
Photo: Evelyn Opoku-Agyeman
For further information about Straight Lines and future events visit here.
Watch the lyric video for Antics here: