The A + E Line - Album Review

Train Wrecks - January 2006

by Chris Thorp

The A+E Line’s official website proudly contains a particularly striking quote, stating simply: ‘The A+E Line are a bunch of stupids.’ Listening to their new album I feel inclined to agree with this statement, although this is not necessarily such a bad thing. From the first few seconds you can tell this is going to be an entertaining listen; the intro takes the form of a hoax caller, supposedly under the impression that the duo are named ‘The Gay and E Line’. After a few more dubious insults the CD kicks into the first song ‘Time Time Time’, which demonstrates what this band are all about: quirky, trippy, humorous pop-core which feels like the musical equivalent of a slap in the face. Rough-edged guitar work is placed alongside lo-fi electronic drumbeats, swirling synths and tuneless vocals. It comes together in a happy mish-mash of chaotic but thoroughly listenable songs. With lyrics like: ‘Chris Walken I’m gonna kick your ass,’ it’s clear they aren’t going to win any prizes for lyricism but their sheer creative energy and sense of fun encourages you to take a step into their daft but slightly disturbing world. The album is punctuated by spoken-word pieces, the most notable of which - ‘Short Story’ - tells a comically dark tale involving the mistaken revenge inflicted on a small boy because he threw a rock at a car. Brooding synths help give the tale an eerie atmosphere before it crashes into the next song. The vocals are delivered throughout without any regard for staying in tune (sometimes it’s difficult to even establish a tune), which can prove a bit irritating if listening to the album as a whole, but somehow I don’t think they will care. They seem quite happy creating their own, unique brand of music whether you or I like it or not. They may seem like a 'bunch of stupids' but they also create some of the most enjoyable music this part of the country has yet to hear.

Listen to 'Christopher Walken' by A+E Line

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