Kindest Lines are a three-piece specializing in the kind of synth-heavy electro-pop often associated with the early 1980s, but actually possessing more verve and muscle than much of that era’s Tears-for-Spandau-in-the-Dark output. Keyboardist and vocalist Brittany Terry has a suitably dreamy voice, propped up—and sometimes engulfed—by rich layers of rhythmic drones and guitars, while drum machines ensure that everything keeps trundling along. The drum machines are this band’s Achilles’ heel, though: their tinny snare often threatens to overwhelm otherwise fine songs such as album opener “Hazy Haze”, or the spaced-out “Dark Dream”. Elsewhere, as on the dreamy-yet-propulsive “Baltimore” and “No Perfect Focus”, the percussion takes a much-needed back seat. This doesn’t happen enough, though, and with the rattling percussion, the band seems committed to providing a get-up-and-dance set of tunes as much as something that might be otherwise listenable. Memo to the band: get a drummer. Your sound will improve tenfold.
// Notes from the Road
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