Loop Line – A Writers Infatuation and The ‘Wakes’ EP In Review.
A smiling Acid-trip back in time, a long time ago on a dreary Pennsylvania day, a fifteen year old kid with a famous name, was listening to ‘Yahoo Indie Music Radio’ stoned in his bedroom. A band came on that would change his musical perception for the rest of his life.
The band was Neutral Milk Hotel, but more importantly was the discovery of the Elephant 6 Collective. Elephant 6 are a collection of bands from Athens, Georgia and Denver, Colorado that started around 1993. Dubbed Neo-Psychedelic, this group of bands created some of the most innovative and unique music of all time.
With heavy helping of The Beatles, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, a shot of The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, a dash of early Noise Rock like The Pixies or My Bloody Valentine, and a big ol’ helping of The Velvet Underground, this style is endless in possibilities of originality. Loop Line encapsulate this groovy energy in their own incandescent way.
With their Wakes EP, they take me on a smiling Acid-trip back in time. I had to find out where these guys were from, and was surprised to learn there’s only two of them and they live in different states! Not close either mind you! Luke lives in Phoenix, AZ and Paul hails from Minneapolis, MN.
Just like one of my favourite Indie legends, The Postal Service, Loop Line creates their phenomenal tunes via the Cliff Clavin’s of America. Which to me as a musician is insanely impressive. To create such a vivid musical landscape that is the Wakes EP without the benefit of regular face-to-face practice is extraordinary.
The ticker on the first song hasn’t even hit ten seconds and a grin is cemented to my face. The upbeat waltz over 2/4 ‘Nothing About You’, is a killer number with some seriously sick changes. It kicks in with some ‘woahs‘ (bold move guys) and immediately carries into the great line ‘Let’s not get carried, away by a very, a very very different colour’.
I love how he places the rhyme in the middle of each thought. It’s a great way to grip the listener’s attention to the message he is trying to portray, by breaking it down into small increments.
The guitar work on this track crazily good. He subtly noodles a lead over top of some crunching rhythm that drives the song. Walls of harmonies come crashing like tidal waves around the steady drums and verses.
The structure of itself is very different, there’s no real chorus, just verses and a bridge section that flow together beautifully. With the warm beckon of – ‘I’ve got dreams to be happy’, the singer hooks us perfectly into another incendiary guitar solo. The song reprises the first verse with such satisfaction it’s hard for me to comprehend it only lasted 2:33.
‘Grin’ is a lot more mellow, while still sounding quick. The combination of piano and guitar create a driving sensation that’s quite pleasant. I enjoyed to appearance of the second vocalist as a lead in this one. It slowly morphs into a gentle chaos of synth and a slick guitar lick and in every measure, it dares to break out, leaving you right on the edge and still enjoying the groove.
‘Parts Unknown’ is the obvious single in many ways. It reminds me a lot of the Elephant 6 bands; The Apples In Stereo and The Olivia Tremor Control. This tune leans a lot on truly exceptional guitar style and tone. The lyrics cascade around the melody, with that killer axe accompanying in the perfect spots. I absolutely adore the intro lick, it’s very reminiscent of The Pixies, ‘Here Comes Your Man’. Just wait, it’ll be stuck in your head for the next week.
Wakes ends on the soft notes of ‘Dusty Keys’. The track’s harmonies match up well with the ever mutating vibe it ensues and the curious timing changes and use of diverse vocal sound and guitar tones closes out the EP the way it should.
I want to close out this article by saying it was a huge honour to review Loop Line. Rarely do bands leave my mouth watering for more material than these boys. The amount of musical talent embraced by their friendship is astounding, and the effort they put forth in unleashing such a wonderful EP over such a distance is humbling to me as a musician.
I am an avid music enthusiast, and very rarely do I ever uncover such a power house like Loop Line. I will be anxiously awaiting new material from the Psychedelic geniuses.
Set yourself firmly in the Loop Line via the links below:
- Facebook and Twitter are your go-to for updates.
- This EP and the band’s back catalogue can be streamed via SoundCloud and Spotify and downloaded for that tasty ‘Free/Name Your Price’ tag on bandcamp.
- For videos, head to their Youtube Channel.