|The Hotlines - 'Self Titled' (Devil's Jukebox)|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Tuesday, 09 March 2010 06:30|
This debut album of punk pop might sound like it's been recorded by a bunch of punk kids from the West Coast of the Good old US of A, such is their sound and influences with touches of the Ramones and melody galore akin to the Beach Boys but no, good old Blighty is where The Hotlines hail from.
In today's musical climate you'd probably liken them to a bit of Green Day, perhaps a smudge of Blink 182, at least the first half of this cd anyway. I wouldn't say it's a bad album but I wouldn't say it's a cracker either. It's solid and there are some decent song on offer but I can't see this release lifting them out of the pack of also rans, I'm afraid. It's well produced and sounds well played from the 13 tracks on offer.
The album gets going with an instrumental featuring some West Coast harmonies then, after one and a half minutes of that scene setting, we're into 'Dookie' era Green Day for sure - to avoid this comparison is impossible.
Like I said the album is well played and well produced but maybe lacking in originality in the songwriting to get away from those heavy comparisons. Although from tracks six, 'Run For Cover', and seven, 'Scratch The Surface', we begin to move away from the you-know-who comparisons. These are both excellent songs, the first with a great Ramones 'Brain Drain' era hook. It's only a shame that it took half the album to find something that really grabs you.
Had this been an EP from track six onwards I think it would stand a better chance because some of these songs are good, especially 'Scratch The Surface'. Maybe by the time they next release something their sound will have developed into something more original because they can certainly construct catchy punk pop, they just need to find their own identity and the previously mentioned song proves this is possible.