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LINE – They Took Great Proud In Their Work (CD, Super-Fi Records)

Posted: June 7th, 2007, by Dave Stockwell

Despite being unfathomably fantastic, Soe’za are not the most prolific of bands. They’ve been going nigh-on a decade and have thus-far delivered two full-length albums and one EP (third album due later this year!). Amongst their ranks is Chris Cole of Manyfingers/Movietone/Matt Elliott infamy, who obviously has a few other things on the go. But what do the others do in their convalescence?

Soe’za’s principal male singer Ben Owen started Line back in 2002 along with some friends as a vehicle for his own songwriting recipes and “They Took Great Proud In Their Work” is their second Extended Play offering. This particular meal’s 25 minutes long and has 6 songs to get your teeth into, with an extremely nutritious diet of acoustic and electric guitars, drums, keyboard, occasional horns and some real, human voices in there too. Cooked up and preapred in just one day last August, it’s a particularly fulsome, yet delicately-flavoured dish, comprehensively stuffed with melodic joy and invention.

If you hadn’t guessed, this is really, really lovely stuff. Light as a souffle, tasty as salsa-enhanced salad, satisfying as a three-course all-you-can-eat buffet, this EP is as pleasant a listen as you cold hope for – all twinkling melodies, carefully arranged musical textures and imaginative arrangements. There’s even some super harmonised humming towards the end of penultimate track “Two Coats Colder” that makes me break into an unconscious smile whenever I hear it. I can’t remember the last time a record made me do that. And then you get some awesome whooping and hollering in final track “Love In The Trenches,” which cracks the grin as wide as my face. And I certainly can’t recall the last time a record made me do that. Can you?

Music as wistful and carefree-sounding as this has obviously had some real craft go into it, and it’s a credit to Line’s arrangements that each track flows effortlessly, sounding like a stream of masterful pop songs… if only we lived in an alternate universe where mostly instrumental wide-eyed acoustic music like this could be viewed as viable marketable materiel by the major label suits. Whatever the case, Line should take a bow for an excellent accompaniment to the encroachment of the summer weather. Thanks, chaps.


Dave Stockwell

David can always be relied on to end his e-mails with one of those 'np: blah blah' things in order to remind us of how much more music he listens to every day than anybody else. His interests include rockin ' out in a major style as guitarist in Souvaris, throwing frisbees from tall buildings "just to see what happens" and simply kickin' back with his bitches in a gold-plated jacuzzi.


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