The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Band of Skulls
The Starting Line are back with their third full album, this one coming via Virgin/Capitol Music Group. On this new album, “The Starting Line Direction”, the band has a new label to work with and they also have a more mature viewpoint. Sure they grew up a lot on “Based on a True Story”, but the album just didn’t work. “The Starting Line Direction” starts out a little slow with three pretty average tracks- “Direction”, “21”, and “Are You Alone.” There’s nothing really here worth noting. It’s not horrible, but it’s not great. These three songs are pretty much cookie-cutter emo of today. On track four though, the band starts to pick things up a bit with “Island.” That track has the same charm of some of their earlier work, but it’s also better than the previous work because the rhythm section has been modernized so the band’s sound actually fits in with today’s stuff. After “Island” builds some momentum and cruises through your speakers as an enjoyable listen. “Hurry” is as single friendly of a song as a band can have these days. “Something Left to Give” has an enjoyable country type vibe to it and Vasoli and company do some interesting things during the track. “Way With Words” is another song on the new Startling Line that sticks out; it’s a harder track that is more reminiscent of some New Found Glory songs because of their hardcore influences. It’s not anywhere near hardcore- as a song though it has that kind of depth and energy to it. Great stuff. There are some other decent songs on this album- most notably “Need to Love”, it’s a track that you should definitely check out it’s acoustic and it’s a great outlet for Ken Vasoli’s voice. This is an excellent rebound for the Starting Line, after “Based on a True Story” I didn’t know if these guys would be around for very much longer, but they prove otherwise with an outstanding effort. Think of this album as a big step in the right direction. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good.