Auricle is the Line's second effort and finds the Cali combo in a mash-up mood. While rabid, rapid punk and hardcore revivalism are the band's basic M.O., the album begins with some off-kilter noodling that wouldn't be out of place on a Jawbox record, and "Hurry Up and Wait" downshifts repeatedly into fakey, Minutemen-style jazz-rock. These stylistic forays establish the album's theme, which freely and repeatedly mixes rattling punk anthems and ethos with brazen experimentation. Elements of insular post-punk, odd and lurching time signatures, and some of the greatest basslines to ever appear on a punk label all pop up here and there on Auricle. Even if these punk-pop-whatever lab experiments don't always work, they're refreshing in a genre that usually sticks to two or three well-worn grooves. Vocalist Don H's cynical humor is welcome also, since it's always more rewarding to hear a punk/hardcore vocalist swear and be angry than witness another recitation of sappy diary entries. Highlights on Auricle include the tightly wound "Destructive Preservation" ("I just burned all my bridges/And still I haven't f*ckin' learned"), the title track, and "Pocket Full of Posies."
by Johnny Loftus