steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Rutabega

"These Knotty Lines" CD

Patsy Presents / Johann's Face Records

Genres: indie pop, bedroom, lo-fi

Johann's Face
PO Box 479164
Chicago IL 60647

Jan 3 - 9 2005

The Rutabega (sic) is one of the few bands on Patsy Presents' small roster, but their sophomore album was a co-release with Chicago's Johann's Face label. In true indie pop tradition, These Knotty Lines is an entertaining, melodic collection of lo-fi tunes - while you get the feeling these songs could have come out of any suburban garage, they have a distinct catchiness that sets them apart.  Hits like "Bay Spun Out" and "Infected" combine emotion with solid songwriting - they remind you of the free, infectious spirit that makes indie pop so appealing.  Meanwhile, other songs are more sincere and emotional, like the vaguely Pedro The Lion-esque "An Offering" and "Been."  There are also a few less satisfying tracks, like "Kiss Atlantic Goodbye" and "Connect Four" - though they aren't terrible enough to interrupt the record's flow.  As a complete album, These Knotty Lines is a surprisingly rewarding listen; most of these songs have enough charm to sustain multiple listens.  The Rutabega are certainly worth a look, if you're aiming to try something new.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]