Friday, March 4, 2011

Red Line Chemistry Debut Album Isn't Dumb Luck

Red Line ChemistryEarly in their seven-year career, Red Line Chemistry took to cruising the rural roads and highways of Kansas and Missouri to play small venues and record early demos in storage sheds. But as they did, the never-say-die quintet developed a two-state presence strong enough to open at bigger and bigger venues.

It took some time, but eventually the Kansas City-based rockers continued to develop regional awareness. They added Indiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma and neighboring states to their circuit.

The continued exposure and regional expansion often put them on the same stage as bands like Shinedown, Drowning Pool, and Seether at regional festivals and station-produced events. All the while, they remained unsigned.

Dying For A Living is a big break for Red Line Chemistry.

About two years ago, everything began to change. They were signed by Bulldog Productions, a connected upstart label with two bands in its portfolio. One of them is Red Line Chemistry. The production resulted in Dying For A Living, a debut album that sounds just as seasoned as any band with four or five albums out.

“We spent eight months working on this repertoire, wanting to deliver a big rock record that crushes the listener," explained Andrew Breit (guitar, keyboards). "The first single, Dumb Luck, is about breaking away from the status quo, and following a different road."

The difference is largely a reversal, breaking back against the current direction of rock and revisiting grungier alternative rock vocals with a heavier, harder guitar. The combination turns heads. Last November, the quintet won the MTVU Freshman weekly video with Dumb Luck. The video was produced by indie filmmaker Joshua Leonard.

Dumb Luck is one of several rockers offered on the debut album. There are some surprise absences from the debut too, with the biggest missing link The One Thing. You can listen to it here.

No worries. Dying For A Living has plenty of winners. In addition to Dumb Luck, dial up You Don't Get It, Greed, and Ultragigantor as an introduction. All four songs expose the range and consistencies.

Another notable change for anyone who is familiar with Red Line Chemistry is the production. Everything is smoothed and polished. For some, maybe too much compared to their indie days. There is something to be said about rough edges.

Still, this album will give them the exposure they need. And, given how much was left behind, Red Line Chemistry still has a white elephant full of never produced, under produced, and reworkable material that they can tap any time. So much of it is good to great that it really makes you wonder why they remained unsigned for so long.

The people to ask are Brett Ditgen (lead vocals), Breit (guitar, keys), Dave Fyten (guitar), Tom Brown (bass), and Mike Mazzarese (drums). Together, they have the right blend of talent — and represent during live performances by all accounts — it's almost uncanny to consider Dying For A living a debut. They sound like they've been belting out hits for years. On the road, they have.

Dying For A Living By Red Line Chemistry Rips A 7.9 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

While it is true that there might be too much polish on the production, Red Line Chemistry proves that the minor leagues of their Midwest-only road trips are behind them. This is a defining moment for the band and the first of many solid albums to come.

It could also be a defining moment for Bulldog Productions. Red Line Chemistry was the right band with which to break out, and we're already listening to the second band in their stable.

Dying For A Living by Red Line Chemistry can be downloaded from iTunes. Dying For A Living [Explicit] can also be ordered from Amazon. Barnes & Noble also lists the album along with the early EP Escape Plan. We'll add the link when and if it becomes available again.
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