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the apology wars
Blueline Medic
The Apology Wars
Fueled By Ramen

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If you ever wished that Morrissey would kick the energy up a notch during his days with The Smiths, The Apology Wars is the album for you. With a punk background (Blueline Medic features two former members of Caustic Soda) and an admitted affection for Jawbreaker, the band has an understated punk sensibility, but it's mixed rather perfectly with Jets To Brazil-styled emo. The result is a bastardized combination of joyous rocking out in your parents' basement, and its antithesis -- grabbing a guitar, retreating to your bedroom and brooding over who's done you wrong. Whatever it is and whoever the influences are, it works.

There's a strange intensity running through The Apology Wars. It's as if every song the band plays is performed out of a dire necessity. This is not to say that anything sounds even remotely forced; in fact, the effect is just the opposite. For all the urgency Blueline Medic emits, each song builds into the next in a natural-sounding progression. The intensity seems to be a simple by-product of their simple desire to play music. This is the sound of a band that is focused, not on fame or wealth or radio play, but just on writing good songs. That's a necessity I can respect.

From the melodically melancholy "At Least We Had The War" to the rollercoaster-like "Write Us" and then on to "Welcome Paradox" (a prime example of what The Sundays would sound like if they had a male voice) there's enough diversity to show a few different sides of Blueline Medic and thankfully, each of those sides is equally pleasing.

The Apology Wars is one of those discs that you really must add to your "back-to-school" shopping list. Consider it required listening for your music appreciation class. I realize it's not Bach, but if he was alive today he'd probably have it on rotation in his car too.

-- Amy Leach
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