Brit-rock meets 70’s America. The Ivy Lines are American and they are mod. Simply take Noel Gallagher, Ziggy Stardust, Mop-top McCartney and blend it loud, adding some trippiness and voila! The Ivy Lines are here.
Thriving on a diet of Verve, Stone Roses, Oasis, and early Bowie, other bands would languish in such an environment. Why? Simply put, other bands are still slurping the shlock goo of cry-baby rock, moldy Emo, or fake rich-boy punk. No black shirts and spiky black hair here. The Ivy Lines are cool and refreshingly edgy, although your mother may like them (Beatle sweetness).
So what’s the catch? No catch, man. They do have that Oasis wall-of-sound thing going on, yet they can be much softer, maybe spiritual? Naw. Think early Coldplay, but less weepy. The Ivy Lines are not going to sing to your girlfriend, they’ll take it straight to you. Original? Maybe, maybe not. Good? Hell, yeah. I drive faster listening to them. And most important, I don’t feel down or depressed humming these songs. I’m reminded of when Rock n Roll was exciting!
Listen to “Aliens” and hear; “Keep watching, baby / You won’t believe your eyes / Strange things circulating around.” Patrick Coleman is speaking of the underground mod scene in America which has some elements of early English glam (minus the platform shoes). It’s all in the sound. And believe it or not, it is cool.
Could also be a star trip going on here too. The opening “Weight of the World” speaks thusly; “I stopped my car at the traffic light / I opened up the door and walked out and it felt so right / I met a girl there and told her I will be a star / She said, I gotta tell you something, I already know you are.” Does he mean it? Listen to “I Love Your Eyes” and see if you can figure it out. The Ivy Lines are not cocky (although they can be), but are really down to earth. They are aloof, but they do love their audience. So take a closer look. These boys aren’t slackers.
Home is Modesto, California; home to Granddaddy and Scott Peterson (who lived just two blocks away from Patrick Coleman!) Singer Patrick is a 5th grade school teacher and internet business owner, guitarist Tim Cullens (second half of the songwriting team) is a traveling guitar teacher in the area, bassist Eric Meadows works for the county and a computer tech at night, while moonlighting as a music recording engineer, and Denis Stroup is a building engineer for an architect group up north.
The Ivy Lines have been together almost three years, playing around and recording. Tim was the best known in Modesto and the whereabouts because he worked at the big music store in town. The way they got together was through Granddaddy Producer Lucky Lew, who did some work for V2 Records. Lucky orchestrated Patrick and Tim getting together and drinking beer one night to discuss the forming of a “new cool emo band.” After about a year, they both realized they wanted to play something more fun and less draining. So they fired their band and started writing “real songs.” Still, if you listen carefully, you can still hear that first year in a couple songs.
Along comes a newbe label (boutique, maybe?) called Massive Star Records who picked up the Lines. I suspect that the band started their own label, but no one is giving a straight answer. Well, I couldn’t care less. Either way, it means they are taking on the majors and all corporate crap that goes with it. The guys say they are not in it for money or huge fame. They love the underground.
Listen for yourself. Great in concert. Bring earplugs. Ω Modesto Bee article