Doug Edmunds of Gladhands and Violet Vector and The Lovely Lovelies fame is back with his other band, The Stars Explode, and their new record, Between The Lines, is built on a solid North Carolina power pop foundation.
It’s mostly about big guitars and big melodies on Between The Lines. Things kick off with “Here and Now,” a lively tribute to living in the moment. “Feet of Clay” has some nice interplay between lead vocals and solo guitar, played by Eric Peterson. It’s fun to hear such unashamed guitar solos front and center.
With the legendary Mitch Easter heading up the production, everything sounds vibrant and brilliant. Even the quieter, rougher textures of “Out on a Limb” and “Memphis Moon” radiate brighter colors and tones. “Memphis Moon” slows things down just in time to prevent a power pop overdose.
The themes are darker than the upbeat music suggests. “What’s It Gonna Take To Make You Happy” is about as upbeat as a break up song can get.
The lyrics are mostly straight forward through out Between The Lines, but there are some groan-inducing puns here and there.
“Suddenly, everything’s gone viral,” Edmunds sings on “Fill in the Blank,” a fantastically energetic song, “Funny how no one wants the cure.” It’ll make you shake your head for a second, but it easy to forgive when the next chorus rolls around.
Simply put, Between The Lines is a fun record to listen to. It may not be revolutionary, but it will get listeners to dust off that air guitar and pick up that hairbrush mic to play along with The Stars Explode.