A Broken Line – “Rat Beach”


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

Southern California has certainly produced a lot of punk bands over the years and from that backdrop is where A Broken Line emerged.  Before we get too far into this, 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. From the driving opening track “Placebo”  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, but it does bring things to a near halt.  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 next two tracks are probably the ones that fit the least with the rest of the tracks on the album, the slower paced “Promises and Mistakes” and the instrumental “Stingray Shuffle” do sound as if they belong on another album. 

From here the band reverts back to the formula present earlier in the album but it does sound as if the production and recording changed a bit as the raw, recorded live feel from the beginning is still there but the overall sound is more raw and has more of an unproduced feel.  The songs themselves also feel a bit more unfinished compared to the earlier tracks.  An actual live recording of “It’s Getting Cold” and then an acoustic guitar instrumental “Zosima” close out the album.

In general, I’m not a fan of the more jangly sounding guitar on the tracks here, but the first five tracks work pretty well.  After that, however, things seem to get away from the band as they shift genres and become experimental sometimes within the same track and it loses me.  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.

Rating: 6.5/10

Written by John Jackson


  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. Zosima

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

Release Date:  Jan 6, 2020

Record Label: Thumper Punk Records

Weblinks: Facebook / Bandcamp

Video for ‘Garage Door’

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