The Starting Line – With Hopes Of Starting Over

By paul

Right, let’s get this straight. Newest Drive-Thru signings The Starting Line are slightly more than a New Found Glory tribute band. This US foursome seem to have garnered quite a following, both for people giving them a big pat on the back and then there are those who keep slagging them off. The latter is quite unnecessary.

This level of hate has even spread to the Punktastic office, with one of the more senior scribes suggesting that he would have the band arrested for crimes against New Found Glory. Yep, take the stage Nick Barham… Not only does he dislike The Starting Line, but he dislikes NFG! Let’s hang the man!

But to be fair, The Staring Line do have a little bit more in their arsenal than a bunch of NFG covers. OK, they do sound similar, especially the vocals. And their overall sound is very similar to that of ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’-era NFG. But cast these thoughts aside, and you will find an EP and a band that show more than a hint of promise. Infact you may even see a band that are actually quite good.

‘Leaving’ is a chirpy piece of pop-punk that goes down very nicely. OK, it’s very much out of the Ataris school of broken-hearted writing, but let’s be honest, which band hasn’t gone down the emo route at the minute? As an opening track it certainly leaves the listener wanting more.

‘Saddest Girl Story’ is a crap name for a song. Total poo. Unlike the song itself which rocks. The intro kicks off in fine punktastic style, and the drumming is very impressive. Still, it is very similar to Allister and most of the other Drive-Thru bands, although I do think that this is more down to the production that the ripping-off of other artists.

‘Three’s A Charm’ is pretty generic pop-punk. It’s hardly dislikable, but at the same time it isn’t really that creditable either. It has definitely been seen before. The song just doesn’t really ever seem to get going. Still, it’s easy on the ear, and far better than anything Posh Spice could ever dream of doing.

‘Greg’s Last Day’ is much more spritely and a good all-round efort from the boys. Plenty of palm-muting, which is always a bonus if you ask me. And the chorus will have you hopping around like a one-legged pirate on crack. Again it is hardly groundbreaking and it’s pretty basic lyrically, but there’s enough promise here to show that this group of teenagers could well break the mould and become reasonably big. Watch out for them on next years Warped Tour.

The highlight though is the cover of ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.’ A cheesy cover choice if ever there was one, yet it works so damn well. The start is a bit dodgy, and you begin to think that it isn’t working. But with a pogotastic friendly chorus, and some soaring vocal harmonies, this tune will no doubt rock the punk fraternity over the coming months.

A bonus is that each track is in excess of three minutes, allowing each track the time to develop and burrow into the listeners skull. After a few listens you will be singing along to nearly every track. there is no escape.

Not essential listening, but it’s still worthy of your ears. But check this little lot out before they really do break it big. Which won’t be that far away, trust me…

Paul Savage

Three more album reviews for you

The Xcerts - 'Wildheart Dreaming'

Follower - 'Against The Ropes'

Buckcherry - 'Warpaint'