Rhythm of Black Lines Set a Summery Table (Sixgunlover)

Set a Summery Table (Sixgunlover)

Record Reviews

Rhythm of Black Lines

Set a Summery Table (Sixgunlover)

At some point along the way, greater weight in independent music circles was given to "musicianship" -- to actual instrumental prowess. As Tortoise and the rest of the Chicago crowd showed, there may be a correlation between skill and true musical innovation. There comes a point, though, when the Joe Satriani factor becomes an issue, when skill withers under the heat lamp display and leaves innovation smoldering on the back burner. Although Austin's Rhythm of Black Lines doesn't make music with such flamboyant individual displays, the end product still rings hollow. Featuring holdovers from Hades Kick and (on two cuts) since-departed guitarist Paul Newman of the eponymous band, Rhythm of Black Lines produces a brand of quasi-fusionary math rock that fits their name to a T. Summery Table's mostly instrumental formula involves an interlocking pair of slinky bass and guitar lines, both with reverb jacked up past comfortable levels, and a tempo-shifting drummer, Tim O'Neill, who breaks off captivating fills at every turn. Unfortunately, a certain plastic feeling is there throughout the album, especially on "Jeep Jackson," with its dim Eighties bass line and cheesy handclap sounds. The only song that rises above the monochromatic sameness of the guitar sound is the title track, propelled by a taut beat and shaded by Clint Newsom's whispery vocals. The tight lockjaw groove stands as evidence that Rhythm of Black Lines can be a potentially stirring band, but a little more ingenuity would be essential.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Michael Chamy
Texas Platters
Palaxy Tracks
Twelve Rooms (Record Review)

Sept. 16, 2005

Texas Platters
Feathers From the Wing EP (Record Review)

Aug. 12, 2005

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle