Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

The Lines Bring Back The 90s

Posted by xneverwherex on March 23, 2011

The Lines
Polock
Ravens & Chimes
Pianos
3/22/11

SXSW always proves to be a great time of year, regardless if you actually make it to Austin and provided you live in NYC. Most the bands will make an appearance here at some point either on the way home or before. Not bad.

The Lines from Wolverhampton, Midlands, should be all over NME and the UK press. Its a bit crazy that they didnt explode in the likes of The Arctic Monkeys. Perhaps its better so that most of us will get to see them in a small club. The Lines are reminiscent of all things 90s. They have the power of the Stone Roses and at times have an Oasis vibe. Haircuts could have been seen on Tim Burgess. Alex Ohm’s soaring vocals at times are spot on for Bono. And some of the intros with the heavy guitars could have been heard on a Ride album. Its not a bad mish-mash of bands to be compared to. The Lines played for a crowd of maybe 30 people and you would have never guessed it. Alex was all over the stage working it as if it were a big club. He commented on the (small) stage and how there was nowhere for him to move with all the wires.

The band sounded incredibly tight. The band members have unbelievable chemistry. It was a great way to end the set with Alex in the audience and 2 drums waiting for him to play. He was able to move around like no tomorrow and really put an end to the show. When they come around next time, do not miss them! Their songs on album do not do them justice for what they do live!

Following The Lines, came the Strokes-esque Polock. Hailing from Valencia, Spain, the boys announced it was their first time in NYC. They seemed quite excited to be here, if not a wee bit tired. Their manager was as excited as they were and took a bunch of photos of her drinking as Polock played.

Polock has the same sorta vibe and at times sounds like The Strokes, but they’re probably closer sounding to Phoenix. The lead singer could easily be mistaken (vocals-wise) for Thomas Mars. Their pop sensibilities give them that same fun sound, that has everyone dancing and singing along. The guys have great harmonies and complement each other well.

They finished the set with their single ‘Fireworks’ which might be one of the catchiest new songs Ive heard in a long time. After a listen or two, you feel like you know the song and are singing along with them. They were definitely a great way to end the night.

The first band on the set was locals Ravens & Chimes. At this time there were maybe 20 of us (if we’re lucky) there to see the band. Considering that most everyone was in the other bands – it was basically a show for me and 3 friends. Its hard to complain about that.

The band seemed a bit lackluster and you could tell SXSW had hit them hard. They had just gotten back and will actually be headed out on tour straight-away. They were pretty subdued on stage with very little banter. It seemed the keyboardist didnt even want to be there, but they did their best to get through their set. At best their boy/girl harmonies could be likened to the playfulness of Stars. And those were great pop songs. Their real problem is their music is all over the place. It feels like they hadnt yet figured out which direction they will be going in, and their music reflects that.

Some really great songs, mixed in with some not-so-great songs made their show hit-or-miss. They wouldnt be a bad opener per se, but Id probably not go to a show *just* to see them. BUT, the lead singer was very cool and came up to me and started talking to me right away. Perhaps it was me taking photos of him, or maybe I looked like a nice face. He was friendly, told me about their upcoming tour and SXSW. Which means, I definitely wouldnt miss them if they were opening for another band I was seeing!

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