Review: The Starting Line — Anyways

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 at 12:02 PM
Review: The Starting Line — Anyways by Kimberly Firestine

It’s not often that an artist or band is able to go almost a decade without releasing new music and survive. In the nine years since their last release, a full-length titled “Direction,” The Starting Line has taken a three-year hiatus, played shows with an eclectic mix of bands from Paramore to Reel Big Fish and toured across the globe. On Feb. 5, they released a new three-song EP, announced in December, much to the delight of their patient and eager fan base.

The new EP “Anyways” is a more aggressive side of The Starting Line. It’s a good introduction to the band for those who may not be familiar, but it fits right in with the rest of their records perfectly. That being said, it might seem underwhelming to those wishing for something from them that packs a punch. The EP is satisfying and a good teaser for what’s to come from The Starting Line in the future, but is not the standalone record we were waiting for.

All three songs on the EP are relatively solid. Kenny Vasoli’s trademark vocals are most prominent in the opening of the first song, the title track, and are certain to entertain a sing-a-long from the crowd. One of the best lyrics from the EP comes in that song, when Vasoli sings “I know we've only got a lot of pain, ‘cause it's so hard to be a human in so many ways,” which Vasoli attributes to comedian Jake Johannsen in an interview with Noisey. “To hear someone else say it is kind of comforting, so I hope people can hear it and have the same sort of comfort,” stated Vasoli.

It’s the second track “Quitter” on the album which really drives the EP. The forcefulness and pushy tempo is something that The Starting Line should continue with their new music, because they do it perfectly. It makes you wish it wasn’t the shortest song and certainly plays well with the teaser-feel of the release.

The closing track “Luck” almost makes the album feel like you’ve reached the end of a whirlwind romance: you’re pulled in by the appeal of the first track, you rip through honeymoon stage that is the second track and suddenly you’ve reached the end, a sad goodbye to something you waited so long for.

We can only hope that this EP leads to an extension of that honeymoon phase in the form of a new full-length album to satisfy the need for more new music from The Starting Line. “Anyways” is a great re-introduction to the band, but time can only tell if their “comeback” will live up to its hype.

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