A Broken Line – “Rat Beach Live”

 Posted by on June 17, 2020 at 01:51  Add comments
Jun 172020
 

Long Beach punk natives A Broken Line have released a live version of their sophomore album, Rat Beach, a collection of raw, infectious tracks that fit right in with what their predecessors were producing.

It’s not every day you get to review a studio and live version of the same album but here were are, thank you Covid-19 pandemic for making this possible.  The live version of Rat Beach was recorded at Di Piazza’s in Long Beach, California on January 3rd, 2020.  The album itself gets off to a bit of an odd start with the Intro being a bit of rap over a largely guitar jam reminding me oddly enough of Cypress Hill backed by Greg Ginn… As you may have guessed from the description so far, A Broken Line is not your typical straight ahead SoCal punk or hardcore band, as they bring elements in from ska and bit of a heavy garage/alternative sound as well.   Placebo opens up with a guitar riff that sounds much like one from Naked Raygun’s Jettison album and the song roars off from there at a frantic pace. From this driving opening track to the slower, heavier, almost like Sublime track “Garage Door” to the feedback-drenched and bass-highlighting “Ticking Away” with its drum/atmospheric interlude to even more feedback and driving rhythms in “Disconnect” to the Five Iron Frenzy like parts in “Pier”, the first five tracks cover a lot of ground and consistently present a loud, brash punk rock attitude.

Then comes a bluesy, slide acoustic guitar track with spoken words over the top and all momentum is lost.  Granted “Old Book” is less than two minutes, and on the album did bring things to a near halt, but in the live setting provides a nice, calmer interlude.  The fast punk/ska in “Bullet” right after “Old Book” certainly brings back memories of the Supertones at times, but the overall feel musically by comparison is a bit thin compared to the fuller, heavier Supertones song, and then inexplicably, the song takes an odd turn away from the punk/ska and into modern rock song.  The track is probably the one that fit the least with the rest of the tracks in the live show. Thankfully the band closes out with some tracks not on the studio album that fit more into the chaotic punk rock sound than the jangly indie-rock type songs that could have shown up given the range of styles the band covers and the band even adds in a cover of Rancid’s Roots Radicals.

On the studio version I wasn’t  a fan of the more jangly sounding guitar on the tracks, but in the live setting that really isn’t an issue and the energy of the band comes through well.  The shift in genres and more experimental tracks still lose me, but that’s not too much of an issue.  That being said, if you’re a SoCal punk fan and/or a fan of other bands on Thumper Punk Records, you owe it to yourself to check this out and I recommend listening to the studio and live versions especially now as who knows when bands will tour again and this can give you a good idea of what a show would be like.

Rating: 7.5/10

Written by John Jackson

Tracklist

  1. Placebo
  2. Garage Door
  3. Ticking Away
  4. Disconnect
  5. Pier
  6. Old Book
  7. Bullet
  8. Promises & Mistakes
  9. Stingray Shuffle
  10. The Big Rhythm
  11. Waiting Outside
  12. It’s Getting Cold
  13. Alive on the 111
  14. Roots Radicals
  15. Big Black Ocean

Band Members
Daniel Plymell – vocals/guitar
Matt Rodriguez – vocals/bass
Ernie Marrtinez – vocals/drums

Release Date: April 17th. 2020

Record Label: Thumper Punk Records

Weblinks: Facebook / Bandcamp

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