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Blueline Medic
The Apology Wars
Fueled By Ramen

Classic 80ís is in vogue. The time is ripe for a band like Blueline Medic who can slip between nostalgics and unsuspecting emophiliacs. The scrubbing and jangling guitar-work and loosely structured tuneage is inline with 80ís Britpop like Wedding Present and Wonderstuff. Dureau sings with a pleasantly gravely voice that will appeal to fans of Psychedelic Furs with some Smiths intonations. This is a record that everyone can love and enjoy, in that the content is passionate without demanding your full attention. Itís great background, or you can close your eyes and let the nuances envelop you. The lyrics are intriguing snips of stories left to be pieced together like bits of overheard conversation. Any rhymes are purely coincidental or occurring only as convenient. These Australians like to use several tones per song, so if thereís something not quite to your liking it will change.

If I have any complaints on "Cathedral", itís lack of ingenuity on the drums. At points the cymbal is relentlessly molested, but the rumbling breaks are redeeming. The guitars take on an occasional jazzy swerve like Dada with an energetic and desperate feel. Dureau pushes his voice over phrases like, How should it matter being better held together? The rains have proved as only they can more for faith than mortar. These fragments are fitted like the rough-hewn stones with a Paul Weller quality. "Over The Lawn" rides staccato reggae guitar through syncopated drums. The riddle is generally more interesting than the music. The metaphor of shouts running Over the lawn and like an army under the door, slow advancing sticks in the gray matter. Snowís bass is more evident in "Making The Nouveau Riche" The subtle smirks amidst the barbs feel good like a less defined Jam. Dureauís choice of lopsided phrases allows his voice to dance crisply on the song. The waltzy "At Least We Had The War" is sentimental and basically follows a Morrisey singsong vocal line without the warbling. The drums fall into a train track rhythm at the apex. The vocals on "Not Interested" seem even more constrained by the music. Instead of riding over the notes, Dureau is forced to stretch notes to meet the end. Itís suffocating and almost shaming the way they carry on, you would think, he sings rightfully. "Shuffle And Scrape" is low and sly spy music that accelerates into a soaring chorus. Itís a hopeful exhilaration that comes flying out of the frustration. Add to that the bonus of hearing the cleverly placed word matter. This is the most stirring song on the record. Lohoar still has a tendency to rattle the cymbal even though heís shown thrilling work on other parts of the drum kit. In fact, on "Somnambulist" he finds lots of interesting things to hit in a very pleasing manner. The acoustic work is like adding balls to the Lilac Time. Dureau sings smoothly this time, and gives fewer clues as to the subject. Perhaps this was all that remained of the waking dream. Regardless, this is one of those rare songs that leaves you wishing it had carried on.

A more modest piece is "Up Against The Fault" with a smaller build on a more staid platform. When Dureau turns up the gas, itís a voice that could cut pipe. The textured meandering of "Write Us" is more memorable. The frenetic Wedding Present scrubbing war gives way to almost a march. Unclear if it concerns us press folks, or some other form of lowlife in the lines, Complainants have been few and far between, the idiotic close and many. The dynamics revolve and re-energize as the vocals gear up for another round. The way the pieces of "Cheat" are linked together reminds me of the Putrid Flowersí epic. Just when you think itís going to end, thereís something more to be said in a raised intensity. It speeds and slows, regaining its momentum with a few extra riders along the way. Thereís a little surf guitar, some well-placed studio effects and an impression that this tune would have worked well at any speed. As a closing comedown song, "Welcome Paradox" is the emo-est number offered. Thereís a floating bit of Gloria Record in the vocal line, with the sort of Unrest speed-ups as the vocals keep an even pace while the strums and drums are doubled up. It is a sweet thing as a breather.

On a scale bad Halloween costumes, one being Fairuza Balk and ten being Osama Bin Laden, The Apology Wars gets a rating of eight: Oxana Baiul.
Complaints Dept: Ducky still doesnít have a date to the prom.

ó Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing:

  1. Cathedral
  2. Over The Lawn
  3. Making The Nouveau Riche
  4. At Least We Had The War
  5. Not Interested
  6. Shuffle And Scrape
  7. Somnambulist
  8. Up Against The Fault
  9. Write Us
  10. The Cheat
  11. Welcome Paradox

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