The Starting Line - Based On A True Story (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Starting Line

Based On A True Story (2005)


File this under flamebait and bid a fond farewell to my credibility. And yes, I said credibility again.

Alright, let's go back to 2002, where the Starting Line released their first full-length, Say It Like You Mean It. I liked it a lot... and I mean it. At the time, however, my tastes did consist of the Drive-Thru catalog almost exclusively, so I suppose at this point there's no real surprise in my enjoying such an upbeat, poppy album.

However, here in 2005, where my favourite bands range from Saves The Day and Shutdown to Joan Of Arc and Bane, I'd say my tastes have matured at least a little bit, though I'm certain many would argue. With this maturity, I'll go out on a limb and say that I'm a bit more critical of the music I listen to. Okay we've covered my life story and my attempt at defending myself for liking the Starting Line.

Based On A True Story is sheer proof that the Starting Line have used these last three years as a period of maturation, both vocally and instrumentally. If there's one impression this album will give you, it's that Kenny lost his virginity and thinks it's really sweet to talk about it. The album's first track, "Making Love To The Camera," boasts a chorus of "It feels just like / it feels just like making love / making love." They do, however, redeem themselves quickly with "Inspired By The $," a beyond-catchy, aggressive song that sounds nothing like their previous work. The pop-punk gang vocals sure don't hurt, either.

Here at track four, we reach "Bedroom Talk," the pinnacle of this "sexual pop-punk journey," if you will. The first time I heard the chorus, "I'm gonna tear your ass up like we just got married and you're all mine now," I sort of cringed. Yet days after hearing it, I found the chorus constantly appearing in my head...and I stopped minding.

In the album's next track, "Surprise, Surprise," the sexual escapades have ended and talk of a dissolving friendship ensues. Based On A True Story's most standout track lies at the midpoint of the album in "Photography." The six-minute "dreamy" ballad is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures.

The need for a discussion of each song ends at this point of the album, where the individuality of the tracks wear down. Granted, this doesn't take away from the fact that it's way too catchy for its own good, notably in "The B-List" and "Ready."

In short, if you want to complain that this isn't real punk and shouldn't be posted here, you're not going to like this album. If you think the only band that ever mattered were the Sex Pistols, you're not going to like this album. But if you enjoyed the Starting Line's first album (admit it, I dare you), you'll be impressed to find that they've grown up, at least a little bit.