[sic] Magazine

First Glances – The New Lines

The Moon Glyph label isn’t just home to abstract ambient and psychedelic soup; from time to time they also release material by “proper” bands too. This year already saw the impressive Never Prayed Once by The Non Travellin’ Band , a garage-psyche rumbler in line with the sort of thing you might usually expect to find on labels like In The Red , and now you can add The New Lines ‘’ sophomore outing Fall In Line to this list.

A concept album loosely based on the proto sci-fi, 10th century Japanese folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter , the Brooklyn band’s version sees exiled moon Princess Kaguya discovered in a bamboo forest circa World War II. The scientist assigned to study the princess (Stanley Milgram of the track listing, I presume) inevitably falls in love with the extraordinarily beautiful girl, but (as usual) the path to true love does not run smoothly, for whilst striving to please and assimilate, she plays a unwitting part in the nuclear arms race – a cautionary adaptation for a nation like Japan if ever there were one.

Sonically, Fall In Line is thus, unsurprisingly perhaps, a retro-futurist encounter in which wheezy Farsifa organ dominates alongside vintage modular sequencers and hypnotic, Moog-like synths and keys. Hewson Chen ‘s sleepy, woozy baritone tumbles and trips its way through the soothing Byrds -ian jangle that equally brings to mind fellow Brooklynites Crystal Stilts on some sort of whirling fairground trip. Those dusty synths add sci-fi spunk and the sequencers a kaleidoscopic layering of varying tempos, while the earthbound percussion provides, urgh, real-world anchor for these galactic flights of fancy.

Fall In Line has a lot going on. Yet, each of its individual tracks gravitate closely around a central theme and sound. Be the inflection sombre, Nico -era Velvets , narcoleptic Nuggets or twinkling bedding for innocuous dream sequences that flounce around in flower beds, these intelligent missives would, in an alternate existence, be boldly captaining the Voyager probes into space unknown, seeking out similarly enlightened peoples.

~Fall In Line is out now via Moon Glyph .~