As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Starving Weirdos.
So it goes that any band that endures 14 years together either falls apart or finds itself. Though the argument could be made that Starving Weirdos were never ‘lost’, they are truly found on Land Lines.
Outliving many of the labels that have housed previous Starving Weirdos releases, Land Lines stands erect as an obelisk of defiance; of going against the grain as it best suits the core duo of Merrick McKinlay and Brian Pyle. Opener “In Our Way” is the triumphant call to the outfit’s uniqueness. It’s a slow roller, stuffing its psychedelic tendencies underneath the surface without the ability to keep them contained. The blood and guts of Starving Weirdos’ work contaminating the rest of Land Lines with a morass of slowed timed. “Captured” hints at the band’s survival, sporadic calls to the wild as they pace their cage--this time lovingly preyed upon by Amish Records.
Dark on its surface, Land Lines is a beacon of light. “Meditator” maintains a tantric cool, influenced by the mantras of a metaphysical yogi. “Dreams, Endless” is the eye of Land Lines, Starving Weirdos finding solace in light piano flicks as the dim world chaotically swirls around them. Perseverance and patience wins out, “Dreams, Endless” exploding into electronic twinkles that overwhelm negative energy in favor of harnessing the positive.
Land Lines may be most impactful because it stays true to Pyle and McKinlay’s path of contained experimentation. The album seamlessly flows from one thought to the next, much as the band has done during its lifespan. Individuality should be celebrated, Land Lines provides the glowing soundtrack.