Centro-Matic

Line Connection Aim

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Cut from the same light-touch production cloth as Centro-Matic's Love Has Found Me Somehow 7" single, Line Connection Aim is a low-profile collection of demos set to tape by songwriter Will Johnson prior to the band's prolific recording spree that would yield three wall-to-wall records between 1999-2000. An informal, cassette-only release, Line Connection Aim's material veers from throwaway-caliber ("The Injury Specialist," "The Little Guitars") to songs well deserving of eventual studio enhancement ("Nothing Could Be Better," "If We Had Our Say"). Drums and other faint percussion appear on a few tracks, but the simple instrumentation here is strictly The Will Johnson Show: hardy acoustic and distorted electric guitars, piano on "The Massacre Went Well," and roughened, double-tracked vocals throughout (save the instrumental "Sure Grip Maximum"). "Nothing Could Be Better" is surprisingly fleshed-out for a demo, while early takes of "Huge in Every City" and "Most Everyone Will Find" -- key centerpieces of the band's 2000 masterwork, All the Falsest Hearts Can Try -- demonstrate early greatness despite embryonic shortcomings. Centro-Matic completists will find the oyster in Line Connection Aim's shell over time; others would be well served by simply seeking out the band's hefty CD output.

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