Whether Straight Line Stitch is a band you ultimately take to or not, there is no escaping the fact that their sound demands attention. Their evolving mix of metal and rock is a dramatic and inventive proposition which explodes with fresh and rigorous tenacity in the band’s new EP Transparency. Consisting of six tracks which can uncompromisingly snarl and masterfully seduce, creatively savage and forcibly charm across their individual bodies, the EP is a rousing and fiercely enjoyable encounter from a band which never compromises their sound and invention but still manages to shape it into one easily devoured adventure.
Released via Pavement Entertainment, Transparency sees the Knoxville, TN trio reinforcing their core fusion of metal and hard rock with new transfixing twists and detours whilst retaining its recognisable and potent substance. The threesome of vocalist Alexis Brown, bassist Darren McClelland, and guitarist Jason White have not sculpted a major departure to the impressive offerings within their previous acclaimed album The Fight of Our Lives of 2011, yet the tapestry of ravenous and melodic invention is loaded with greater predacious and captivating temptation than ever before. It might just be a handful of songs but the EP suggests Straight Line Stitch have tapped into a new vat of inspiration and resourcefulness which can only further unfold ahead.
Transparency opens with Out of the Shadows, a brief instrumental intro which entices well enough with its evocative air and elegance but fair to say the release properly gets going once Dark Matter suddenly roars from within the parting kiss of its predecessor. Brown’s aggressive raw tones rage first, swiftly joined by hungry riffs and rhythms bound in a tight vine of alluring grooving. In a matter of a few additional moments, Brown unveils the other side to her vocal prowess, her melodic persuasion casting new colour to the sonic tempting fermenting within the song and providing another step in the ever impressive and seamless diversity in her delivery. A carousel of predatory hostility and alluring pop rock around a carnivorous spine, the song itself is a persistently captivating engagement which is quickly matched by Out of Body.
The third track opens with warm enticing, guitar melodies caressing ears as the gentle tones of Brown flirt with the senses. As bass and drums harden their character, a stronger growl begins lining the song though it relaxes when keys spark harmony rich calmer passages within the song. Like a mix of In Flames and Lacuna Coil yet with an intimacy which gives the encounter its own distinction, the song heftily pleases before making way for Face of God, a track with volatile shadows to its depths and virulent contagion to its anthemic tempting. It is a stirring mix of textures with riffs and bass almost bestial in their intimidation and rancorous sound whilst vocals and melodies cast blazing rays of evocative beauty. Things continue to shift and twist in the body of the outstanding encounter, the EP’s best moment a kaleidoscope of unpredictable and easily digestible enterprise.
Wilderness is a savage provocation from its first breath, riffs and rhythms preying on ears with antagonistic imagination and fury which is soon matched by guitars and vocals and their own aggressive ingenuity. The fierce theatre subsequently slips into oases of melodic beauty, sparking new potent bait for appetite and imagination to feed from even though the blistering track’s dark side is never far from the surface. It is a template taken to its own imposing success by Human Bondage, though the closing song does lack the spark of uniqueness found in its predecessor. Nevertheless it is a maelstrom of rabid almost carnal riffs, grouchy basslines, and almost fell vocal ire entwined with warm and soaring radiance spread sonically and through the dynamic tones of Brown.
The song is a thick pleasure bringing another thoroughly enjoyable and enthralling incitement from Straight Line Stitch to a pleasing end. The new adventures within Transparency may not make it the best offering from the band to date, though it is right up there in many ways, but they suggest something major might just be in the pipeline and brewing very nicely for the band’s next album or proposal.
Transparency is available from June 30th via Pavement Entertainment.