White Star Line

White Star Line

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Resembling an early Cracker or latter-day Camper Van Beethoven on the introductory "BBQ," White Star Line wastes no time creating a slow-building rock song that includes trumpet. Unfortunately, though, it loses some of its steam near its conclusion. Working in a seamless pattern into "And Fine Wine," the group seems to be creating a wall of sound lacking in the first song. Containing a '60s psychedelic flair in the vein of the Beatles with a sprinkle of Eastern influences, it gives off a grandiose rock feeling. "Sniffer's Row" is a mid-tempo pop/rock melody that brings to mind Coldplay, but it seems to be only half-finished, clocking in at just over two minutes. Some adequate acoustic guitar starts "A Is for Arousal," a solid, melodic pop track that gets stuck in a lovable sonic rut. White Star Line isn't afraid to take chances, as the harmony vocals during the chorus sound more like a cartoonish ogre than capable musicians. "White Star Lines for dreamers," lead singer and songwriter Luca Maoloni sings as the song veers into a '70s keyboard-oriented vibe. It's the album's first shining moment since the group takes the time and care to see the song through to the finish. "Year of the Horse" has a '70s glam rock guitar sound to it à la David Bowie while a winding bassline works underneath it. It's just one portion, though, as it moves into Pink Floyd circa "Wish You Were Here" before returning to phase one. One song that is a mistake from its onset is "Bowels of a Bummer," a title that is more than appropriate here. Undecided between pop, country, and rock, the tune wanders aimlessly for nearly four minutes. A greater direction for the group is "Mars' Water," a murky, acoustic instrumental beginning that moves at a leisurely pace. "It's Bust" has a slow-driving country feeling to it, not depressing but far from uplifting. With an arrangement that brings to mind Pink Floyd's "Great Gig in the Sky" on a few occasions, it's the album's high point. "Busted" brings the previous pace up to an alternative rock track in the style of Sonic Youth or Yo la Tengo. On the whole, the album doesn't have much going against it.

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