Straight Line Stitch - When Skies Wash Ashore
Although I claim no familiarity, Straight Line Stitch have been gaining as much far and wide for slots on past Vans and Jagermeister tours, playing alongside the likes of Slayer and such. The immediate hook to SLS are the female fronting vocals of Alexis Brown, something that will just as quickly divide fans as it does unite others. Personally I start listening to these "chick metal" releases dreading another disappointment. Perhaps that's why When Skies Wash Ashore has impressed me so. Little to no expectations heading in, and I'm left with a nicely packaged bunch of dynamically rich, texturally sound and technically precise melodic metal as much influenced by the catchiness of Coheed And Cambria as it is the brutality of an In Flames or Killswitch Engage.
Each song is in it's nature dynamic, switching quite fluidly on the fly from a punishing blast-beat passage into a bombastic, anthemic chorus, all brought to life by Alexis' outstanding vocals. She's capable of shredding her throat into twisted screams, dropping it down to a gutteral, death metal pitch, and then one moment later cleanly melodic and soulful singing. Her dynamic is the most enjoyable part of SLS, but do not discount the rest of the band's ability to write intensely catchy material. Just listen to the hooks on"Promise Me" and it's wicked melo-death bridges, "Eucharist" and it's Coheed-esque feel (Alexis sounds alot like Claudio, and I'm not sure whether this is an insult to him or big props to her...)
While I'm not ready to give this a 100% positive review (some of the songs pass by without much fanfare, and the music itself beyond Alexis' wonderful vocals is somewhat generic in ways), this is definitely a record any fan of catchy, melodic metal should check out. A more logical recommendation goes out to all the fans of female-fronted metal acts. When Skies Wash Ashore also marks the debut release under Koch Records' newest imprint, Raging Nation, run by acclaimed video director Dave "Rage" Resteghini, and was produced by Anthrax axeman Rob Caggiano. So they're gaining the right sort of attention, for all the right reasons; quality music and a bottomless work ethic. More power to you, SLS.
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