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Blueline Medic - The Apology Wars (Cover Artwork)

Blueline Medic

Blueline Medic: The Apology WarsThe Apology Wars (2001)
Fueled By Ramen Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: ScruffyScruffy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Blueline Medic was on Fueled by Ramen Records back when the label wasn't just an incubator for the majors. Their first EP, A Working Title in Green, was a catchy little four-song exercise in Bad Religion and Jawbreaker-influenced indie rock and emo. Their last full-length, Text Bomb, was terrible. .
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Blueline Medic was on Fueled by Ramen Records back when the label wasn't just an incubator for the majors. Their first EP, A Working Title in Green, was a catchy little four-song exercise in Bad Religion and Jawbreaker-influenced indie rock and emo. Their last full-length, Text Bomb, was terrible. But The Apology Wars, which came out the same day as blink-182's Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, is phenomenal.

Slammed by some as second-rate Jawbreaker aping, it was loved by others as one of many possible heirs to Jawbreaker's throne. The band hails from Australia, which lends an interesting accent to Blueline Medic's brand of hook-laden, sing-along indie-punk (at least for those of us in the States).

The first song, "Cathedral," opens with a four count on the high hat and an extended metaphor involving the building of a cathedral that, near as I can tell, is about fighting the destructive nature of the world, and possibly the punk scene. It ends with the line, "Neither sane nor fool enough is the good word going round. I built the cathedral almost on my own. It stands in a house you helped to build. You're guaranteed of a place to be," the first part of which is bolstered by an awesome drum fill that is the climax of the song.

The lyrics stay at about the same caliber throughout the album, though one of the highlights is the song "Making the Nouveau Riche." It's as simple as simple can be, with most of the song consisting of two chords. This simplicity drives home the point of the song, which is one of the best statements of intent from a starving musician I have ever heard:

You say I have to get a real life, but I'm not sure how that in making someone or other rich is any more real than making a niche for yourself. I'm without a zack, a truth, a coin, a kopeck or an elusive brass razoo. But my dear rationalist, don't dream I couldn't care. I too grow quickly bored of the clothes I wear. So maybe I should go and get a real life, real like cutting a fine figure or scraping a deposit together for it, heaven forbid. Just suppose I cannot live on taxes and goodwill forever. But how is it that the problem just doesn't seem to press while my fingers are themselves pressing hard against the neck? I was sure that I suffered and worked as hard as anyone I knew [...] well it seems I haven't. I better damn well fix and make it look every inch as though I do but still have to go and get a real life and I've no doubt that it will happen. Maybe I've put it off for too long now, gonna see if I can't get something better than a [...] Maybe I'm amidst of a real life...
But this album's strength is not just in its poetic lyrics, though that is quite clearly its strongest point. The music is not only able, but captivating. Blueline Medic jumps from two or three-chord pop to guitar-heavy indie rock and almost Coldplay-esque moodiness in songs like "At Least We Had the War" (take it from someone who hates Coldplay, they make it work). Some moments ("Shuffle and Scrape") suggest that the band takes some of the same influences as Jets to Brazil.

If anything, that's the best descriptor for this album. It seems to bridge the sonic gap between Dear You and Orange Rhyming Dictionary, though I can't say it has the level of genius that those CDs do. But it's close.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 19, 2006)

i love this album, got it ages ago. best australian band i ever heard.

Scruffy (August 16, 2006)

I can't figure out if I should say "Thanks" or "You're welcome", so both.

jockmcbored (August 16, 2006)

scruffy - you bloody genius!!!! cheers for that!!!!

Anonymous (August 16, 2006)

if youre gonna talk about classic FBR bands you have to mention Swank!

muskawo_ (August 16, 2006)

Pretty much my favourite aussie band. I have seen them live so many times it's not funny.

This is their best album, I think.

The split with ted leo is pretty good though.

Scruffy (August 15, 2006)

Almost everything Caustic Soda did, save for the "Bleak Young Kid Dis-Knowledge" album, is available for free download here: http://www.mp3.com.au/artist.asp?id=18672 . BYKDK is still available. Basically, any info you need on either Caustic Soda or Blueline Medic, go to http://bluelinemedic.tripod.com/.

Anonymous (August 15, 2006)

there is a caustic soda cover/reworking on this record, and caustic soda is worth tracking down too if you can find any of their stuff.

Love this, I did think the next record text bomb was weaker though its gotten better over time. I've concluded its a good record but it just doesn't ever hit a climax, ends too quickly without full release.

This is a pretty flawless LP, as well as their EP before this.

The last 3 new songs they put out are on an obscure ted leo split with them, which I've never heard, Hope they don't give up on music totally, forever.

wyzo

jockmcbored (August 15, 2006)

ya can't mate - they only did a 7" on crackle and one track for short music for short people (track 99)

http://www.crackle.freeuk.com/mailorder/index.html

the 7" is worth it and you can pay by paypal. crackle are really good so ya should be fine. it's instock too (in yellow to show that crackle are the label)

Enemy_Will (August 15, 2006)

The Supaflies were the best band FBR ever had. They should be the ones who are famous. Also Funsize was pretty good. And to the guy below, how do you track down a Caustic Soda album?

jockmcbored (August 15, 2006)

i own this and bought it purely because it had some of the guys from Caustic Soda who relased a brilliant 7" on Crackle Records.

mp3 here - http://www.crackle.freeuk.com/label/index.html

was totally disappointed although Cathedral is the best on it.

skolarx (August 15, 2006)

i always thought it was kind of a mix between mxpx and jawbreaker, at least vocally. amazing album, completely blew me away back when i bought it. text bomb was a huge letdown bu i think this album kind of set the expectations too high

Anonymous (August 15, 2006)

thanks a lot for reviewing this I've been meaning to check them out for awhile but for the life of me couldn't remember the bands name.

- APK

Anonymous (August 15, 2006)

Underrated but Great band!

ramo (August 15, 2006)

This was a really good album. I thought Text Bomb was pretty good but The Apology Wars is easily the best.

Any news on that split featuring these Aussies and Ted Leo?

Ramo

steveman (August 15, 2006)

God damn I loved these guys...and really the entire FBR roster back then.

Anonymous (August 15, 2006)

Great CD, nice guys... good to see someone proud of their Aussie accent

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