The latest from State Lines, For the Boats, is the album everybody’s been wanting since Brand New failed to make Your Favorite Weapon 2: The Favoriting. It’s that perfect messed-up mix of pop hooks and emotional letting-go that so hooked everyone who grew up on a steady diet of New Found Glory and Saves the Day, but were left wanting something more substantial than the usual Drive Thru Records fare.
However, while the first part of the record seems to be straight from the emo-pop handbook, replete with cracked voices and power chords, it begins to stray from the path with the last two songs on the first side.
“Shit For Brains” lurches, stumbles, races, and manages to be quietly introspective all at once. The song then ends with a soaring guitar solo. It’s two minutes of emotional ups and downs, making it something like the record in microcosm. Followed up as it is by “For The Ears,” which is acoustic guitars and what sounds like drumming on a desk, and so very, very intimate, the vast array of sounds it brings is that more more noticeable.
The fact that “Where It’s Warm” actually leaves intact a fuck-up and apology makes this record seem that much more sincere. The false start lends a much-needed bit of levity into what is a seriously intense and emotionally forthright recording.
Big props to Tiny Engines for creating such a boss bit of packaging, in addition to the music. They always tend to go the extra step, be it the spot varnish on Dikembe’s Broad Shoulders and Run, Forever’s Settling, or the screen-printed outer bag for Annabel’s Here We Are Tomorrow 7-inch. For the Boats has blue metallic ink on the front cover’s waves, and it just looks gorgeous.
In terms of vinyl colors: the 105 on white with red and blue starburst are sold right out, but you can also snag it as an edition of 130 on opaque red, 150 on opaque blue, or 215 on white. I received the white and it looks solid. They can be had from the Tiny Engines store.