Coke Bust - Lines in the Sand [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Coke Bust

Lines in the Sand [12 inch] (2009)

Six Weeks

Washington, D.C.'s Coke Bust takes a massive step forward in songwriting from their EP, Fuck Bar Culture; albeit, this is far from innovative or far from their thrash/hardcore influences, their debut LP Lines in the Sand manages to defy all that's too predictable and conventional with an exhibition of rhythmic chops and atonal sensibility.

Lines in the Sand spins like a good hardcore set list: relentless, antagonistic, loud and with the songs caulked together by a continuous crackle of feedback. The lead-off track, "Under the Street Lights," with its barrage of artificial harmonics and awkward time and tempo shifts, sums up Coke Bust's plan of attack. The riffs are stark and jarring with occasional octave chords for melodic embellishments; the drumming has a rigid yet grooving feel; and the vocalist shouts socially conscious observations that are, well...they're a hardcore band. While each component is executed with precision and seemingly effortless, possibly the most impressive feat is how well they've captured the energy of their live show on recording.

Along with "Under the Streetlights," "Prove You Right" is easily the best track on side A; the chorus nods at some incestuous influence from Magrudergrind (same drummer) before slowing down into a bouncing, floor tom section. Side B is owned by the title track, "Patriot" and "Cycle of Violence." All three are...really fucking fast and structureless.

And that's just the problem. There's probably about a full-length and an EP worth of good songs; just putting all 17 together -- even if they're short -- is psychologically exhausting. The artwork could have been a little better, too...

Regardless, while not being completely sold on the band after Fuck Bar Culture, this LP hints at elements of brilliance and just some straight-to-the-point hardcore goodness. Lines in the Sand easily solidifies Coke Bust as one of the genre's dark horses.