They Walk in Line
First Appeared in The Music Box, April 2005, Volume 12, #4
Written by T.J. Simon
The Los Angeles-based They Walk In Line cites Sonic Youth, Echo & The Bunnymen, and My Bloody Valentine as influences on the its full-length debut Medical Necessities. The approximate sound of Guided By Voices is also apparent throughout the 11-song disc. The music consists of competently-executed alternative guitar rock with vocals by frontman Michael Romero that are reminiscent, at least in part, of Coldplay’s Chris Martin. While the band showcases a basic level of technical competence, however, there ultimately is nothing about the nondescript nature of the outing that can hold one’s attention for more than a few fleeting seconds.
Granted, there are a handful of impressive moments throughout Medical Necessities. XY Chromosome, for example, has a captivating chorus, and Heart Attack at 5am showcases some extraordinary guitar work. The album’s best cut — and the only one to truly break from the band’s formulaic approach — is Sonic Tremble, which features acoustic guitar leads, some smart lyrics, and genuinely pretty harmonies. On the downside, the driving guitar groove of Slightly Fallen is undone by Romero’s poor vocal performance, while the rest of the effort can only be described as filler. To be fair, none of it is cringe-inducing, but nothing is good enough to make one care about the album, either.
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box