The Lines led a role call of local talent onstage at Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Hall on Saturday (December 3), with their new songs demonstrating a fascinating new direction for the Sedgley-based four-piece.
After Dudley’s Dakota Beats and Wednesfield outfit The Limelight warmed the near-capacity crowd up and helped them forget the chilly temperatures outside, lead singer Alex Ohm, guitarist Dean Bate, drummer Dave ‘Paddy’ O’Connor and bassist Danny Pease took to the stage for what would turn out to be a triumphant homecoming gig.
Older songs such as Tracey, Circles and Domino Effect were received like well-loved classics, with the crowd singing along to every word. But, it’s the new material showcased by Alex and Co that hints at an exciting new sound that should set them apart from their peers.
Take new song Fever, for example – a pulsing, brooding, atmospheric beast that combines elements of Doves or The Verve at their most spaced-out, with the warmth of a string section and a relentless beat.
Having spent this year touring with Ocean Colour Scene and Pete Doherty, it’s clear The Lines are now keener than ever to explore sonic possibilities and gradually leave behind the anthemic, punch-the-air rock of their early material.
Dance music has always played a part in tracks such as El Matador, but it was on final song, Caught in the Crossfire, that Alex and the boys really let go with some four-to-the-floor action, helped along by a group of percussionists. As with Fever, this new tune – which sounds a little like Friendly Fires might sound if they were ever to drink Ruby Mild – points towards an exciting future.
Next year promises to be an exciting one for The Lines as they build upon the success of their exhausting tour schedule and branch out in new musical directions. The fact that one of their tunes now features on the soundtrack to a popular computer game should introduce their music to lots of new fans worldwide and result in the widespread acclaim the band deserves. Here’s to 2012 – let’s make it the year of The Lines.