Based out of Lower Merion Township, PA, 13 Lines is a hard rock band that has influences from punk and alternative and consists of Nik Rajagopal (vocals/guitar), Jae Hoon Choi (guitar), Ron Borisovsky (bass) and Adam Tuttle (drums). They formed in 2010 and in only two years signed to ATR Records and proceeded to work with producer Ian Cross (Janet Jackson, Usher). It took about a year to finish their EP entitled Read Between the Lines. The EP contains five songs of guitar-heavy tunes that show a band that has a knack for creating a catchy pop song under a heavy bed of distortion.
The album’s first track “Unknown” starts out solid with Black Sabbath-inspired guitar riffs that got me going, That good ole guitar crunch sounded inviting and it put me in the mood for unpretentious rock. Despite the heavy guitar chords on the chorus the verse is pretty clean consisting of delicately picked guitar patterns. The 80’s inspired guitar solo solidified that the song was a winner.
The second song “All Of This” still has heavy guitars but has a pop punk feel instead of the 80’s metal vibe I was grooving to on the first song. That sound is distinctly more modern on this track but fits the song. You will find yourself with a bit more energy after listening to this song as the chorus is an anthemic sing-along. I was digging the guitar work from the first moments I heard “Not Alone.” Powerful bar chords fill up your speaker but the speed metal lead guitar work was the main attraction. In addition to the impressive guitar Rajagopal delivers some of the best vocal work on the album. His vocal melody is addictive and feels more inspired here than on some of the other tunes.
The band closes with “Fixation” which is a bit deceiving. In the beginning the song consists of just vocals and guitar. I was thinking they were going to end on a soft note before things changed rather suddenly at 2:00 mark. They rock out pretty hard before it’s all over.
Read Between the Lines is a solid EP with some good songs on it. It’s not reinventing the wheel by any means but has some intriguing moments.
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