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CD REVIEW: RED LINE CHEMISTRY – Chemical High & A Hand Grenade

| 16 July 2015 | Reply

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Label: Pavement Entertainment

Release Date: July 24, 2015

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I really dug Red Line Chemistry’s debut Dying For A Living and the follow-up Tug Of War, but little did I know then there was an unreleased disc that was shelved years earlier.  “Bullets And Armor” kicks this collection off and the sound is familiar to anyone that has heard RLC previously.  The straight ahead rocker gives you a good feel for what the band is capable of from vocals to guitars and the rhythm section.  Title track “Chemical High And A Hand Grenade” comes at you with a heavy rhythm and cadence thanks to the drums and bass, as well as chugging guitars that keep the song moving.  “Meds For The Hypocrite” has a fuzzier guitar sound than normal, but it works within the song and disc.  The root of each track is very RLC, thanks to the steady vocals of Brett Ditgen.  “Penny Drama” is an odd track that comes off like a ballad, but the lyrics steer this into moodier territory.  The simple guitars and vocals combine to build a lighter vibe for the band.  “Thinking Retro Kills” is a good track that takes a different approach than other tracks on this disc, but point to the sound and feel of the bands later releases.  “Apology” is another light track, showcasing some great acoustic guitar during the verse and chorus.  The vocal, along with an electric guitar that kicks in between the verse and chorus, builds the feel of the track at the transition.

“Heavy” is a self-describing song that has a heavier bottom end and at times more aggressive vocals than normally delivered on a Red Line Chemistry track.   The bass shines and adds punch throughout.  “The Empty” opens with a killer guitar riff that builds through the verse and chorus, as well as a steady drum track that gives the song a very rhythmic feel that gets the foot tapping.  “The Soldier” has a great feel to it, benefiting from steady drums, moderately light bass pasts, and a melodic guitar part that anchors the groove, even when the vocals soar a bit during the chorus.  “Becoming Of Saints” has the best bass work on the disc holding down the vibe.  The guitars kick in and the song seems to take off.  The vocals are a bit lighter, but they fit the mood of the music.  “Home” has a heavy groove that features a great rhythm section sound set against the rich vocals and riffs.  The solos at the bridges and transitions are simple, yet add to the songs feel.  Disc closer “Bloodlust (Dead In Santa Clara)” picks up the pace and takes us on a journey between the RLC sound of old and the more familiar sound of the bands later releases.

Tracklisting: Bullets And Armor – Chemical High And A Hand Grenade – Heavy – Meds For The Hypocrite – The Empty – Penny Drama – The Soldier – Thinking Retro Kills – Becoming Of Saints – Apology – Home – Bloodlust (Dead In Santa Clara)

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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