Thin Dark Line
One Eleven Records
I had a bad feeling about this CD before I listened to a note of it.
Consider the following:
(1) The band’s Web site proudly proclaims that The Resolution is a
(2) The fact that it’s an Enhanced CD, with multimedia content playable
on a PC, is also apparently not only noteworthy, but groundbreaking and
mind-blowing. Welcome to 1995.
(3) The band’s MySpace.com profile is filled with fawning praise by
Finding out that two of the band members are brothers only thrilled me
more. The Resolution is essentially the first full album by a Maryland
band with regional appeal; it somehow managed to get national release on
One Eleven Records, an oxymoronic “indie label.”
The songs? Well, despite the fact that they’re relatively
indistinguishable from either each other or those of dozens of other
hard rock indie bands, they’re well-produced and create some involuntary
foot-tapping. The musicians are clearly talented; slick guitar licks,
drum stings and bass lines raise the mediocre content to at least a
listenable level. It’s like Alec Baldwin on Will & Grace.
The fact that the music wasn’t quite as lame as I expected, coupled with
some truly neat cover and booklet art, nearly saved The Resolution from
my undying hatred. Unfortunately for them, the band members had the
brilliant idea of including video of themselves discussing every single
track, in all its depth and meaning, on the Enhanced CD. Without this
feature, I would never have known that the track “Rites of Spring” was,
according to the lead singer, named after “the first emo band ever.” Um,
yeah, excuse me while I harf. Ever hear of a dude named Igor Stravinsky?
Cripes, ever see Fantasia?
Lead singer and lyrics writer Bryan Barnes sums up the CD pretty well in
“All the Facts, None of the Flavour,” by his own admission about
writer’s block: “An uninspired poet wrestles with his words.”
— John “jaQ” Andrews