The Line: Matter review – Challenging noise and cheesy melodies

Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 05:00

   
 

Album:
Matter

Artist:
The Line

Label:
Bad Soup Records

Genre:
Electronic

As a member of experimental Dublin band Meltybrains?, Brian Dillon pushed the boundaries of electronic music with off-the-wall, unpredictable and imaginative compositions. Now, the classically trained multi-instrumentalist is going it alone for an album that he claims “explores the oscillation between extremities through music, noise and cheesy melodies”.

These are personal songs, with Dillon navigating emotions of regret and loneliness in an attempt to find some inner peace. For the most part, they work; the haunting Weight is an apt foil to the heavy judder of electronics on songs such as Anxiety and the squally Heads (Matching Heartache with Hard Work).

The Line - Weight

Stagnant Water is a highlight, its unsettling, fuzzy distortion adding atmosphere to folk murder ballad-style lyrics: “It killed me to drown her/ So I closed my eyes ’til she was gone”.

Elsewhere, the repetitive thud and woozy effects of Wet Skin create an offbeat kind of rave song, the various junctures of violin and cello are a welcome divergence, while Dillon’s imperfect warble only adds to his eccentric lyric sheet’s authenticity.

Perhaps most crucially of all, tracks such as Wade, with its the waves of cleansing sound, provide some breathing space amidst these often heavy (both emotionally and stylistically) songs. It’s a challenging listen at times, but one that benefits from repeated listens.