Covered in Dust
by Kindest Lines
Review by: Ellie Sleeper
Combining girl-group and garage influences with noise aesthetics is nothing new these days; in truth, it seems to be the current noise-pop paradigm, and it’s beginning to border on the trite and cliché. On their full-length, Covered in Dust, New Orleans’ Kindest Lines manage to take the formula and completely reinvigorate it with just a few small adjustments—adjustments that make the idea seem novel and genius all over again. I’ve always personally thought that simply allowing more room and space in such songs would make them more compelling, and such a hunch is proven correct here.
The primary change in what Kindest Lines do with their songs is the incorporation of synthesizers and a focus on using lead guitar lines instead of allowing chunky chords to take up most of the landscape. This is readily noticeable just on the opening track, “Hazy Haze,” which sounds akin to The Cure during their Disintegration-era covering, say, The Shangri Las. Whether it’s the monolithic string sounds used at the album’s start, or grimier bass later, with various synth voices carrying the bottom end, the spindly, frigid guitar work is allowed to speak very clearly and emotively throughout.
Standout tracks for me included “No Perfect Focus” and “In Death Not to Part.” The former is incredibly delicate and has a plaintive, longing chorus that could snare the heartstrings of even the most resolute stoic. There’s also what I think is an awesome e-bow solo near the end, which is surely worth catching. “In Death Not to Part” may benefit from the pacing of the album and its location near the end, but it commands attention all the same; it’s a very danceable number and another strong vocal performance. Additionally, “Prom Song” may prove a remedy for those who think the album has borne too much McGeoch and too much 80s influence, and not enough gazing; I found groups like Ride and Revolver coming to mind while listening.
Covered in Dust has been out for over a year now, and it’s gotten some airtime on Strangeways Radio, so you may have some familiarity with it already. If you haven’t heard it yet, or if you haven’t picked it up for yourself, I highly recommend you seek it out. These three blur the lines and blend several different genres and subgenres, but the end result is intriguing and lively. I look forward to what the future will bring from them.