State Lines - For The Boats (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

State Lines

For The Boats (2013)

Tiny Engines

For The Boats epitomizes the vulnerability and openness that make State Lines such a good band. Their self-titled 7-inch set the stage last year for this record and when it comes to exceeding expectations, that's what this record does.

The album's chock full of simple, catchy anthems and "For The Boats" as an opener expounds on all the bitter things in life, but also on those small spots of hope. It sets the record's depressing makeup but amid this sombre tone, the emotional honesty - sometimes hilarious - pays dividends. Depressing and catchy aren't the best combo at times, but the coarse voice of Jonathan Dimitri adorns the band's music perfectly, speckled with vulnerability and loaded with cynicism.

Impressively, the slow stamina never dampens the momentum, and with a charming melodic tempo that fine tunes their pop-punk chimes, State Lines have done a great job grafting in their restless and angst-filled take on the world. This is evident with "Linger" and "For The Ears" - remarkably soothing. This is a patient album, mature and deliberately not that dynamic, but fans of Hoffmann Manor or those clamoring for a substitute for Tigers Jaw will find a lot to like here. Tom Werring's guitar work is what latches onto you almost as much as Dmitri's voice. There's a beautiful subtlety in his and the band's simple and straightforward craft.

"Kids" and "Indian Burn" are an extension of what State Lines do best. 'I believe what you said but you never put the faith in my head / It's just the way that you call my name at night /...It's just the way that you hold my wrists too tight' That kind of emotional resonance really wins, and hat's off to State Lines for supplying it in spades for For The Boats.