For Fans Of
To Close Your Eyes’ credit, they really have hit the ground running with latest album ‘Line In The Sand’ considering they had to replace a vocalist. The departure of frontman Shane Raymond, and subsequent replacement with Sam Robinson (of Blessed By A Broken Heart), really hasn’t dampened or set the band’s music back in the slightest. On the contrary, this record is one of their strongest to date.
An early criticism however could be the record’s length, fifteen songs that really refuse to change up the formula can become a touch tiresome despite the energetic efforts of a lot of these tracks. Musically, there is nothing that will shock fans of the first two records. It is the vocals, which are inherently different, that become the point of difference, which is something the group should be commended for, embracing their change.
The opening of the record leans away from the band’s poppy hooks and more towards their hardcore side, the short burst of aggression that is starter ‘Deus Ex Machina’ is carried onto the fast punk blasts and gang vocals of ‘Burdened By Hope’, one of the angrier tracks on the record that is lyrically aimed at someone who has severely pissed these guys off.
The melodic hooks make themselves present on the title track before the delayed guitars and stadium rock feel of ‘Frame And Glass’. The change between the hardcore sounds of the openers and the radio rock attempts of the record’s mid-section make for a fairly inconsistent journey. The band performs both well but the record isn’t very cohesive as a result.
As a side note, Robinson‘s British accent makes some of the rockier moments feel like The Darkness at times.
An album highlight is ‘The End’, a fast paced punk number, which features a guest appearance from Pennywise frontman Zoli Téglás.
Close Your Eyes sound revitalised with their new line-up, and while ‘Line In The Sand’ is not without its flaws, it is certainly a step in a better direction for this group.
1. Deus Ex Machina
2. Burdened By Hope
3. Days of Youth
4. Line in the Sand
5. Frame and Glass
6. Sleeping Giant
7. Kings of John Payne
8. No Borders!
9. The End
10. Higher Than My Station
12. Trends and Phases
14. My Way Home
15. Follow the Son