Review Summary: Like they never left
After nearly a decade out of the game, The Starting Line couldn’t be blamed for revamping their sound to fit in more comfortably with The Hoteliers of the world. After all, it’s safe to say the majority of their remaining fans are those who lived through the era of the now defunct label, Drive-Thru records. Before disappearing off the face of the earth, however, they dropped one of their most sophisticated LP’s in the form of Direction
. It was an album that found the band trying to take themselves more seriously, as evident in the explosive choruses of ‘Island’, or ‘Something Left to Give’s’ introspective lyrics. However, despite the enormous time gap between their last record and their latest EP Anyways
, it’s almost like they never left in the first place. With three animated, yet familiar rock tunes that would feel right at home on Direction
, the EP feels like a love letter to fans more than anything else.
Due to their lengthy absence many were probably hoping for more than just an EP from the emo/punk veterans, but not a moment is wasted given the limitations. 'Quitter' marches forward with ugency as rapid drums and bouncy keyboards act as an adrenaline shot the the system. Vocalist Kenny Vasoli’s performance is also a real delicacy here, with the title track being a fitting representation of his talent as he shouts passionately over the commanding guitars. He’s always had one of the genre's most unique and recognizable voices, but he sounds truly rejuvenated this time around. Perhaps he’s as thrilled as we are about the band’s return or he’s simply improving with age, but it's hard to remember the last time he sounded this damn enthusiastic. That’s not to say his contributions to his other projects aren’t up to snuff, but he rarely sounds as natural or elated as he does singing with his original lineup from the heart of Pennsylvania.
From a critical standpoint, it's difficult to find anything inherently wrong with The Starting Line's latest batch of songs; these are exuberant and sunny alt-rock tunes, and they do their job accordingly. Perhaps they could have thrown some experimentation into the equation with their latest effort, but it’s such an undeniable pleasure to hear them doing what they do best again. It’s not an album designed for those looking for innovation, but rather an expansion to their discography for those who felt the band’s career was abruptly put on hold. Not only does it feel as though they never left, but it’s also a breath of fresh air to witness a band so faithfully loyal to their roots. There’s no telling if this EP is a sign of things to come – but at least for now – The Starting Line are back with a vengeance.
short review for a short EP. happy Friday guys
feedback appreciated. I'm definitely hoping to make my next review longer, but there wasn't much else to say about this one. it's just a great return for the band that's welcome to please longtime fans, but probably won't do anything to change your mind if you never cared for them before.
Digging: Pistol Annies - Interstate Gospel
Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off
I loved their debut, but didn't like anything after. Based on your review, I guess I probably won't like this either.
Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle - On Dark Horses
@Willie, I guess it depends how much you disliked their last album, Direction. I thought that album had some great songs but was too inconsistent overall. If these were songs on that album, they would basically be the standout tracks. This isn't entirely like that album either though - I'd say it's more upbeat. It's a short listen, so I'm curious to hear what u think if u give it a go
Also thx CaimanJesus, u a fan of this band?
Not really. I just saw that there was a new staff review so I read it.
Album Rating: 3.5
It's quite nice that you reviewed this, i had no idea they were back...
I completely agree with your description of Kenny's vocal performance, it's outstanding really, lets hope for some new material soon.
(do you know of any interview or else where they clarify if this is a one-time-only
kind of thing or not?)
Damn, this sounds interesting. Love their first album, and I've liked a few songs from their other efforts too. I'll definitely check this out, you make it sound really good. Great litle review, and spiritual pos.
Digging: Deceased - Ghostly White
TELL ME WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHEN YOU WERE GONE AND SO ALONE
I didn't even know they were coming back. Enjoyed a few singles here and there from them
Digging: mewithoutYou - [Untitled]
welcome to staff man, excellent entry
Going to have to give this a listen. Good to hear they're back strong.
WE GOT OLDER
BUT WERE STILL YOUNG
Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want
Cheers Brostep and Spirit, I appreciate it
@Leatherneck, that's a good question but I'm really not sure. I definitely don't recall them mentioning if this is a one time thing or not, but I'm hoping for a full length
I think you might be kind of overestimating their impact as a band but I'll check this out regardless
Glad to see these guys are back. Really enjoyed Direction back in the day. Will check this out, nice write-up!
"ith The Hotelier’s of the world"
Might make more sense without the apostrophe
"one of the genres most unique "
review is nice but there's something missing... it doesn't give me the impression that this is anything more than passable
For as big of a pop-punk aficionado as I once was, I never really gave these guys any focused attention. I doubt this is the point in my life where that will happen, but I'll admit the embedded track was nice.
Digging: John Nolan - Abendigo
Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off
They were never anything special, but their debut was good. They quickly tried to mature, though, and I don't think they made the transition nearly as well as Yellowcard, New Found Glory or Blink-182.
Diversifying my pop punk palette also wasn't a priority back then, so it's entirely possible these guys did something exceptional and I was obliviously indulging in the aforementioned artists.
Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off
It's possible, but not true ;) Even their 'mature' albums were just poppy alt rock.
Edit: But if you're looking for some nostalgic sounds, check out their debut.
Thanks, I'll do that. I'm overdue for a pop punk cleansing.