It’s been a very long, arduous and trial-encumbered journey but Straightline have returned with ‘Weltschmerz’. The Munich-based band are, for lack of a better word or two, seminal and ubiquitous when the last two decades of fast melodic Skate Punk and all the progression the genre has undergone are considered. Straighline’s mainline albums and EPs as well as their deep cuts, I would argue, are required listening for understanding the current scene. Their adoration of the melodic ’90s as much as their penchant for New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and particularly, palm-mute serration and Punk-imbued Thrash have stood the test of time and now, they begin their journey toward the next full-length.
‘Weltschmerz’ roughly translates as “world-weariness” which is a melancholy feeling I’d bet pervades much of our collective contemporary consciousness. That said, the band have chosen well for their triumphant and indeed breakneck return. Straightline’s (in this case) late ’90s “proto-tech” Punk captures the beating heart of Skate Punk’s underpinning pace. Jagged abrasion is maintained through the band’s staple quick-fire palm mutes whilst soaring melodious leads and genre-typical vocal harmonies hammer a determined point home.
Though not quite as synonymous with progressive politics as many other facets of the Punk scene and sadly associated with some regressive, ignorant elements, Skate Punk does have it’s go-to’s expunging such at an expedited rate. Through bands such as Good Riddance and more recent names such as Heathcliff, One Hidden Frame and (obviously far more) of the current crop, exists a move to push far beyond such an antiquated carryover. This is where Straightline dwell and ‘Weltschmerz’ is a cry to do your best to instigate this change, against a combative and suppressive backdrop. Everyone can do something.
‘Weltschmerz’ is Straightline doing what they do best musically catalysed by an omnipresent downer into a fast, hopeful forerunner of what is to come. But what do I know, eh? Here is a meme that completely invalidates the time it took to write this.
- Thousand Islands Records:
- Lockjaw Records: