Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Lines Memory Span

Dan Selzer over at Acute Records in New York Citay is a label owner, dj, blogger, tastemaker, mover, shaker and quantum physicist (who btw only uses the manuals that are written in Chinese). Sheesh! How does he find time to put out a host of excellent reissues on his Acute imprint? Christ, if I boil an egg I need to lay down for half an hour to regain my strength, so hats off to Mr. Selzer and to this latest release, namely The Lines’ Memory Span album. This retrospective of the cult UK post-punk band traces the development of their sound from 1979 til 1983.

The Lines played live with the likes of The Cure, Bauhaus, and The Birthday Party but never scaled the heights of acclaim enjoyed by those outfits, and disbanded after their last album, Ultramarine. However, this Acute retrospective, which has been lovingly remastered by ex-member Rico Conning (who went on to be in William Orbit’s Torch Song project), shows the band at their finest; from fledgling efforts in 1979 like “White Night” and “Not Through Windows,” both from their debut seven inch EP, to more sophisticated tunes such as “Transit,” and “Cool Snap.”

Starting off as a straight up new wave rock/power pop band, by the early ‘80s the Lines were experimenting with funk and dub elements within a starker, more atmospheric and danceable sound. So if you’re a doyen of late ‘70s and early ‘80s new wave and post-punk and you thrill to Young Marble Giants, Liquid Liquid, Subway Sect, The Feelies, Gang of Four, Delta 5, The Undertones, Josef K and XTC then you’ll be pleasantly delighted with this top notch release. It came out a week ago so go scoop it.


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