Released: 2008, KOCH/Raging Nation Records
Reviewer: Dick Ward
WHEN SKIES WASH ASHORE is the newest release from Straight Line Stitch. Based out of Knoxville, Tennessee, this is the sixth release and first studio release from the ever evolving band. Unfortunately, it may be that very evolutionary nature that makes the album so inconsistent.
From track one; this album is as disappointing as it is excellent. “Never See the Day” begins with the generic riffing and unintelligible screaming that typifies the majority of local metal, giving the impression that this is just another dull core band. About halfway through the song though, it all starts to get good. Like waking from a bad dream, the awful screams go away and a pure angelic voice pierces through when singer Alexis Brown shows just what she can do. One of the brightest points of CD is the song “Eucharist”. Without all the clichéd instrument work that typifies the rest of the CD, Eucharist shows off the strength of the band’s songwriting. It’s catchy, shows off each instrument very well, especially the bass guitar, and truly showcases Alexis’ amazing voice. The final track, “Yesterday’s Gone”, consists of just Alexis Brown and an acoustic guitar. It’s emotional, well written both musically and lyrically, and is easily the best song on the album.
WHEN SKIES WASH ASHORE isn’t, strictly speaking, a bad CD. It’s high points are quite high, and they’re even more strongly emphasized because the low points are so low. Straight Line Stitch is a band that could go either way at this point, on to bigger and better things or back to the metalcore from whence they came. For their sake and for ours, they need to do something that truly sets them apart from the back, but this CD isn’t it.