ArpLine – Travel Book

The pack of Brooklynites, ArpLine, comprised of Sam Tyndall (vocals, additional guitar, additional bass, programming and synthesizers), Adam De Rosa (guitars), Oliver Edsforth (keyboards and saxophone), Nathan Lithgow (bass, back-up vocals), and Michael Chap Resnick (percussion and programming) dropped their first album, Travel Book (clever!). From their press release:

“Indefinite and obtuse, their instrumentation is both complex and visceral, layering piercing guitars with heavy bass lines and resonant vocal textures that cascade into a washy gaze of percussion loops, synthesizers and programmed tones. ArpLine plays music that is both transfixing and poignant, lifting the veil of regularity so aptly found in many of their contemporaries.

…the band demonstrates a rich repertory of psychedelic industrial-pop sentiments that challenge the listener to look beyond the walls of sound and test the boundaries of all that is sonically possible.”

Whoever wrote that has been hitting the thesaurus. Hard. There is also a good possibly that a member of Vampire Weekend wrote it. Generally speaking, they’re pretty neat. Bordering on an early Joy Division-type sound, they’re bringing something back that I haven’t heard in ages…glam ROCK. Taking notes from early pioneers like the aforementioned Joy Division, New Order, David Bowie, and even elements of Depeche Mode, they’re bringing that somehow lazy sounding but tight musical arrangement back to the present. They make it sound so good, but manage to look and sound like they’re not even trying to.

The comparisons are being thrown around like rice at a wedding. Arcade Fire and Animal Collective seem to be the top picks and while I get it, ArpLine’s still got a sound completely their own.

Apparently “Fold Up Like A Piece of Paper” and “Make It Rain” are being acclaimed as the “hits” of the album, but it’s seriously ten quality tracks. The one that gets me every time is the seductive “Parts Unknown”. Slightly on the darker side, the Bauhaus sounding track brings back the days when goth was still pretty. “Amplify” is what MGMT would sound like…if they were better. (Not discounting the three tracks that everyone loves, but that’s exactly it. You have two albums and everyone loves THREE SONGS.) “Cap” is a hauntingly beautiful track, almost Tori Amos-like in the spectre-esque, foggy vocals.

While tracks vary, they’ve provided a fantastic, cohesive album that I’m sure is going to top some lists this year. This is certainly a valiant effort for a first release and I’m looking forward to what’s to come. Check ’em out for yourself on The Facebook, The Myspace, or The Twitter. In the meantime, this album get a good, solid, hearty A.

“Fold Up Like A Piece of Paper”


“Parts Unknown”


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