Article by: Jason Robey
“On my back I’m floating, I’m so tired, don’t care if I live or drown.” the opening line of “Floating” ruminates over a single ringing guitar chord, before Fine Lines kick into full drive to for their debut album, Contact. The song, with its bouncy rhythm, arena-size drums and distorted guitar sounds typical of the Nashville indie-rock scene on the surface. As the song progresses, the textures and subtle sonic surprises prove that there is much more to this group than meets the eye.
Over the course of the nine tracks on Contact, Fine Lines take listeners on a guided tour of a multitude of influences, which they have brilliantly crafted into a refreshing sound of their own. Moving into the second track, “It’s Not Over,” the group shifted into a more soulful vibe, with hints of Beatles-esque guitar lines accenting vocalist Chris Probasco’s forays into smooth falsetto runs. Dustyn Roth complements the track with ’70s funk and soul-influenced bass lines, executed with impeccable timing and feeling.
Contact is a very dynamic record, moving from in-your-face bursts of pure hard rock attack to the subdued drama of ethereal strumming quiet vocals. “Bride” is a perfect example, as the song starts with a wall of guitar that quickly gives way to reverb-drenched vocals and haunting melody. “Morning Sun” and “Centennial” are a back-to-back pair of mid-tempo, acoustic-based tracks tapping into country and southern rock influences, with beautiful chords from lead guitarist B.L. Reed, pulling it into an occasionally psychedelic feel.
Just as the record starts to feel settled on a vibe, drummer James Thompson bashes the cymbal count-off of “Stranger,” an all-out rocker, in the vein of early 2000s garage-rock revivalist bands like Jet and The Hives. Contact takes a soulful bow with the closing track, “Lighthouse,” wrapping all the moods on the album into a single track that gradually builds from a serene opening verse to an explosive ending that feels like the encore of a live show. Contact, much like a live show, begs to be experienced from start to finish, in the proper sequence, as it mimics the ups and downs of a good story.