Opening Band 12"
Vancouver quartet B-Lines refuse to be killed by death and are finally back with another manic burst of proto-hardcore punk. Known for their short, spastic and occasionally bloody live shows, the band has captured that energy and broken glass once again on Opening Band, another quick 12-inch for Hockey Dad (North America) and Nominal (Europe).
The record marks an evolution for B-Lines, who've matured enough to write a handful of songs that break the two-minute mark. That's not to say they've gotten smarter — these are stupid songs about feeling stupid, being stupid, trying to forget about one's stupidity and finally embracing the stupidness of it all. The nine song release concludes with its title track, a celebration of the leagues of forgotten go-nowhere bands clogging up your local DIY punk dive.
As always, B-Lines offer terse blasts of melodic hardcore punk not unlike the sounds of Red Cross and the Descendents. Desperate vocals, frantic drumming and trebly guitar set the stage for frontman Ryan Dyck's smart-ass observations and entertaining ennui. All of it recalls a time when hardcore was as catchy as it was destructive.
1. Nervous Laughter
2. Do You Know Who I Am?
3. Tell Me
4. I Vibrate
2. Normal Again
4. Opening Band
B-Lines follow-up their (temporarily) sold out, six song, debut 7" with nine more short, sharp odes to awkwardness, alienation, and their hometown of Vancouver. Manic vocals atop perfectly simple and tuneful songs played with a frenzy that lands them in the sweet spot between hardcore and pop-punk. In keeping with their belief that LPs are for prog rock, it's all said and done before you'll have time to conceptualize your next snack.
Co-release with Deranged.
Initial pressing of 544 copies. 50 copies with plain white labels for Alberta tour (sold out).
Includes 8.5"x5" zine of lyrics and art, plus digital download.
Artwork by Melanie Coles.
1. Hastings Strut
2. Wealthy Barber
3. It Rains
4. Psychedelic High School
1. In The Red
2. World War Four
Digital sales: http://www.midheaven.com/item/st-by-blines-12
Spaz? Nerd? Punk? Yes, yes and yes. Six immediate songs inspired by the likes of Back From Samoa, Milo Goes To College and The Undertones. Sorry, you'll have to attend the live show to be verbally abused by, or bleed on, them. Otherwise, seven minutes in heaven.
Ex-members of Fun 100, Fuck Me Dead and some others they'd probably prefer I don't mention.
Initial pressing of 439 on white, or marble as it turns out, vinyl (including 20 release show copies with a copy of The Buzzer featuring a B-Lines interview, autographed by all members). SOLD OUT.
Includes insert and download coupon.
1. Burnt CDs
2. Social Retard
3. Busy Man
2. Dryer Fire
3. Crazy Glue
Digital sales: http://www.midheaven.com/item/st-7inch-by-blines-7download
***Opening Band 12"***
STILL SINGLE August 2014
B-Lines – Opening Band 12” EP (Hockey Dad/Nominal)
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGHSKLJWKLDJLSKJDLJHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH the B-Lines are back. Nine more songs of fast, wacky, tuneful hardcore with snotrocket vocals from this Vancouver band, who handle this style of music the way it should be: with loud, obnoxious abandon, sharp musicianship and an inescapable presence. It’s fun and frantic, just like their last two records were, but with heavier production. And that leads me to another thing: more bands making a short record should follow the lead presented here: 12” vinyl, 45 RPM, pressed as loud as it can be mastered without knocking the needle out of the grooves. The presence of this thing cranking out 5-8 minutes per side cannot be overstated. If it sounded tinny and small, none of us would care, but the actual manufacture and engineering of this particular record is a strong indicator of its success and appropriateness as an item that you can take home. It makes the B-Lines everything they can be on record, and if they toured out this way, I would probably go, because the way they present themselves here is so barking shitnuts. Fast times. No Dice.
YELLOW GREEN RED, September 1, 2014
B-Lines Opening Band LP (Hockey Dad / Nominal)
Glad to see that Vancouver’s B-Lines are still splashing around up there. From catching a frantic live set, and their very-good debut LP, I’m proudly a B-Lines fan, and pleased to announce that this new LP cements that fact. They’re a little zanier this time around, not necessarily in songwriting approach but in delivery – I can’t help but feel like the singer is screaming all of his lyrics directly into my face, and there’s a constant buzz of cymbal-crash / open hi-hat surrounding the drums, giving off an air of slop even though they are played with precision. I’m reminded of Plow United, Jay Reatard and The Ergs at times, the sort of bouncy punk rock that tries to bum a cigarette off you, and the title track has a sly self-awareness that I’ve only ever seen Life Partners tackle so effectively. A cool and speedy record for sure, the sort of thing that makes it more understandable when I hear about punks from Halifax making the hundred-hour drive just to hang out in Vancouver for a while.
THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, September 3, 2014
Opening Band (Hockey Dad)
It’d be presumptuous, given the years that the group has spent headlining shows around town, to say the title track of B-Lines’ Opening Band is completely autobiographical, but lead snarler Ryan Dyck definitely takes a perverse pleasure in lambasting the band on the self-deprecating punk cut. “You can get away with a lot when no one shows up,” he cries maniacally over a stop-start riff, admitting to abusing guest-list privileges in hopes of actually performing for someone who gives a damn.
Unhinged, hopeless hardcore at its most nihilistic, the sophomore LP from the quartet finds Dyck using a feral hyena’s howl to weigh in on life’s emptiness (“Supplements”), the futility of relationships (“Acknowledgements”), black-out nights (“Tell Me”), and more. Once again pulling influence from Angry Samoans and Circle Jerks, Scotty Colin’s punch-drunk barrage of barre chords is only occasionally interrupted by his bend-heavy microsolos.
“Do You Know Who I Am?” is a speedy standout poking holes in the idiocy of scenester cred and the fact that most records are doomed to the dollar bin. Trading in B-Lines’ latest would be a mistake, but it’s easy to imagine record clerk Dyck cackling behind the counter at Neptoon, just waiting for the used copies to come flooding in.
YELLOW GREEN RED, August 1, 2011
B-LINES-B-Lines 12" (Deranged/Nominal)
I was at a show in Vancouver a couple years ago, on the tail-end of a trip and completely burnt-out on music, when some young local punk band took the stage and belted out what seemed like thirty songs in fifteen minutes, rifling through their set as if their parents were due to show up at any minute and pull the plug. They didn’t announce themselves, so I had to ask around to determine that it was the B-Lines I had witnessed. It was an energizing moment, one that carries onto this nine-song 12″ EP. It’s kind of like garage-punk, if you take away the leather-jacket posturing and just let the manic energy of youth grab the reins. Kind of ’77-ish, in that modern Jay Reatard way, and nearly as hooky, but you can still skate to it. I don’t know, they’re kind of a generic band on paper, but these songs really jump off the vinyl, resulting in that same “who is this???” feeling I had watching them play. B-Lines have definitely graduated with honors from Nominal University.
FOR THE LOVE OF PUNK, September 6, 2011
B-LINES SELF TITLED
B-Lines self titled first LP is so perfectly urgent and rowdy and youthful and Vancouveran and downright glorious. They play a trebly punk bordering on goofy hardcore played tight and so maniacally that it’s hard to keep up with the jams here as they strut and verge in and out of your punk rock subconscious.
Let’s talk geography and carbon dating. The record sounds like it was recorded in 2011 but the approach is very much left coast suburban punk circa 1978-1981. So there’s spit, sperm and bile in the delivery, but even the raging tracks are just rightly art-damaged to place them in that PUNK category and out of the hardcore milieu. We’re talking minute-long songs, maybe minute and a half, tops. A perfect companion to that first (INCREDIBLE) Red Kross EP back when they were still called Red Cross.
I wanna say this is like The Simpletones tracks on the Beach BLVD comp played in the context of “right fucking now”, dig? It’s absolutely fun and immediate and well worth your 15 minutes. Play it several times a day while brushing your tongue. See yourself rise up into AT LEAST the 77th percentile.
The B-Lines S/T is co-released by Nominal Records and Deranged Records
MAXIMUMROCKNROLL #340, September 2011
B-LINES 12" (Deranged/Nominal)
Snotty Canadians that remind me of the CARBONAS and LE SHOK if they were hardcore kids, in short the kind of music that will appeal to many punks. Throwaway blasts of MSG, it's the sound of the Beach Boulevard comp played all at once, those that can only relate to Blatant Localism will wanna put this on at the next pool party before they black out face down in the deep end. The lyrics to "Wealthy Barber" are hilarious, sort of a shit punk on LSD update on "School's Out" by Alice Cooper. This band is really throwaway in a rad way, Stuckas over Disneyland for the new generation of ADD mutants. Seems like it should be on a Thrashers Skate Rock tape.
STILL SINGLE, May 5, 2011
B-LINES-s/t 12" EP (Nominal/Deranged)
Spazzy, suburban-sounding punk from the Vancouver foundries, a bright and silly offering that places somewhere in the Dickies/Descendents/Didjits lineage, maybe down the line alongside Action Patrol, or Popular Shapes. You know, bands of the persuasion that would have the jumpsuited/monkeysuited-hulk-on-vocals with speedy, aggressive punk musicians behind him behind him. They don’t let up across the 10 minutes or so it takes for you to finish it, but it’s brash and melodic, with both qualities fighting for all the attention. Fun times!
EYEPLUG, June 3, 2011
B-Lines – s/t
(album, Deranged Records, 2011)
By Simon Morgan
Hailing from Vancouver, four strong Canadian upstarts B-Lines know a thing or two about punk rock insurrection. Their debut long-player is anything but lengthy, with a total of just nine songs. A typical track runs about a minute in length (the longest on the LP is 1:54). The LP flies by in just under twelve minutes. I played it three times back-to-back on the way to work this morning.
Stating their primary objective as ‘doing shows’, B-Lines claim to be inspired by a shared love of vinyl and cassette tape culture. The band are allegedly pinning their hopes on their collective ‘bad taste’ confining them to eternal ‘obscurity’. We like that! Rolling self-confessed influences such as Red Kross, The Angry Samoans and The Descendents into a silver king-sized Rizla, B-Lines forge a sound that strips cobwebs at will, and in these increasingly convoluted and over-produced digital times, that’s half the battle won from the get go!
When you grab a copy of this from iTunes, be sure and download a copy of The B-Lines EP ’n’all. That way you get another six songs, including the morontastic ‘Social Retard’, and the rather splendid ‘Dryer Fire’. Then you can take time to track down a vinyl copy on Deranged Records, but don’t hang around, there are only 500 copies!
In terms of sonic lineage, B-Lines riffs are spiky, their guitars sound immaculate. The bass cuts space like benzodiazepines cut heroin. The drummer could give Animal from The Muppets a run for his money. The songs have titles like ‘Hastings Strut’, ‘Psychedelic High School’ and ‘World War Four’. The singer yelps and shouts, in fits and starts. The music surges then falters, the tempo rarely alters. It’s all over before you know what’s mugged you, time for another hit.
As you may have noticed by now, I have resisted the temptation to conform to post-modern-standard-music-hack-technique and inflict personal observations with regard to who B-Lines remind me of, or who I consider they ‘sound’ like. In the current climate, the words ‘punk’ and ‘rock’ should surely suffice. All you need from me is my assurance that if you like Punk Rock and you trust my judgement, then B-Lines is a record you should move heaven and earth to own. It’s the perfect companion piece to Tyvek’s ruling Nothing Fits (In The Red, 2010). No comparisons, no hyperbole, no generalisations, no hacking jacket required. B-Lines: punk rock and fucking roll.
EXCLAIM, April 1, 2011
By John Semley
For the most part, trying to strike a balance between hardcore and pop punk is asinine; it's like trying to find the middle ground between vegan cuisine and veal sausage: you end up with some textured soy knock-off that's totally unconvincing and tastes lousy. Unless it's the mid-'80s and you're actually Hüsker Dü, the whole thrashy pop thing usually doesn't work. But guess what? Vancouver, BC's B-Lines actually pull it off! And well! Their self-titled twelve-inch features nine tracks, all under two minutes, sustaining its frantic pace from track to track, sounding poppy without sounding pop. "World War Four" shows just how much the band can get away with in 90 seconds, including a mini-guitar solo, while side-A opener "Hastings Strut" perfectly captures punk's well-worn, "less is more" ethos. At only 11 minutes, the record may feel like a bit of a rip, but you're likely to get more feverish pleasure listening to this four or five times than you would listening to any other album once.
DISCORDER, May, 2011
Review by Sarah Charrouf
B-Lines are a sight to see live; their on-stage energy is always high. Vocalist Ryan Dyck dances and swings around the stage and often times moves right into the crowd’s space—it’s not unlikely for him to get right into an audience member’s face. Thankfully, their recently released twelve-inch brings that energy to your bedroom, with each song ripping apart your speakers for no more than a minute and forty seconds before the next track kicks in.
Despite a few lineup changes, Dyck’s vocals remain slightly high-pitched and rooted in early punk and hardcore. The guitars, drums and bass are always tight, fast, and catchy, working in perfect harmony. Bruce Dyck’s cymbals crash while guitarist Scotty Colin and bassist Adam Fothergill’s fingers blaze across their fretboards rapidly. Like their live performances, the record is fun, raw and perfect for anyone looking to get into party-mode and is especially reminiscent of being a teen rebel (see “Psychedelic High School”).
EXCLAIM, September, 2009
By Josiah Hughes
Vancouver's B-Lines have quickly gone from the city's best kept secret to their most exciting new band. Clocking in at six songs in seven minutes, B-Lines' first proper release demonstrates the band's ability to write deft, wry punk songs that are both poppy and unspeakably raw. Drawing on influences such as Red Kross [sic], Descendants [sic] and Angry Samoans, the B-Lines play poppy punk for hardcore nerds. "Social Retard" has one of the catchiest, most politically incorrect choruses put to wax in a long time, while "Busy Man" is a claustrophobic rager. On side B, "Leaving" is a jittery fuck-off that's over just as quickly as it begins, while "Dryer Fire" fantasizes about a boring death-by-laundry before "Crazy Glue" closes out the EP with a hopeless chorus. While it's over much too soon, it's nearly impossible not to start side A all over again with songs this good. (Nominal)
THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, August 6, 2009
B-Lines plays it short and sweet
By Gregory Adams
[Four out of five headphones]
B-Lines plays it short and sweet. The local punkers' debut disc drives home six pop-core blasts in less time than it takes to microwave a bag of Orville Redenbacher's finest. Featuring ex-members of power-poppers Fun 100 and '80s hardcore aficionados Fuck Me Dead, B-Lines picks up where those bands left off. “Burnt CDs” starts off this self-titled set with Adam Fothergill's staccato bass rumblings before the group lets loose on the fierce 50-second song.
Though B-Lines' manic cuts would fit perfectly on an iTunes playlist alongside Teen Idles and the Angry Samoans, the Vancouver quartet could just as easily find itself on a Mint Records sampler. “Social Retard” hammers out a goofy sing-along chorus, despite its un-PC chant of “Yeah, I'm a retard.”
Ryan Dyck's vocals are the highlight of the record. The guy can only carry a melody half the time, but his high-energy croaks—think Grover on a steady diet of pop rocks, Red Bull, and mescaline—complement the act's spirited simplicity. Whether he's singing about socks on “Dryer Fire” or ragging on nine-to-fivers on “Busy Man”, Dyck's amateur howls are amazing. Though the short running time makes the EP seem like a bit of a tease, B-Lines' debut keeps things fast, focused, and fun.
STILL SINGLE, August 23, 2009
B-Lines – s/t 7” EP (Nominal)
Most people obsessed with music have specific memories of bands that opened the DIY door for them. In that regard, I can see Vancouver’s B-Lines making great scene fertilizer for some impressionable kids. Their debut 7” crams in six bursts of snottily-voiced hardcore punk with some insidiously infectious hooks, though it shares a common border with pop punk on the tasteful side. The recording is a bit raw but balanced, which is a refreshing break from all the four-track racket going around. The guitars are overdriven, but not heavily distorted, and the singer’s voice sounds unaffected, with real squeaks and cracks, drums are loud and have an energetic punch. Imagine Canada’s other great snot factory, Career Suicide, lightened with some of High Tension Wires’ energy, writing Creep Records style punk. Along those lines, it looks like Nominal Records is doing for Vancouver what Creep did for Pennsylvania, documenting an interesting thriving scene. 445 copies on marble white.
MAXIMUMROCKNROLL #317, October 2009
B-LINES-"Burnt CDs" EP
I've been keeping my eye on Nominal Records as everything I've heard from them has been great, and this new disc is no exception. Spazzed-out brat punk like early Angry Samoans or even first-EP-era Descendents. It's fast, snappy and fun as shit...love it!!!
Burnt Cds Ep 6 Titres
Nominal Records 2009
B. Lines est une ligne de bus à Vancouver...et sûrement le meilleur groupe punk de la ville ! La pochette est nulle, simple presque simpliste. Mais attention, le ep est un petit bijou avec 6 titres vraiment carton dans la veine des Career Suicide, du premier ep des Vicious Cycles, des Statues etc. Du punk rock nihiliste qui remet le tic tac à zéro de la scène punk de Vancouver et surtout fout le feu à la sécheuse...avec beaucoup d'humour. Ce groupe ne sortira pas sur Sudden death records. C'est sûr mais on s'en fout : Brûlez vos idoles et sautez dans le bus ! J'attends le lp avec grande impatience...(à l'intérieur du ep, un code est disponible pour télécharger les morceaux...bonne initiative!)
-Fab tigan (02/09/2009)
The B-Line is a bus route in Vancouver, and the B-Lines are certainly the best punk band in that town. The insert is bland/basic, simple almost simplistic/minimalist. Looks are deceiving, though, as this EP is a little gem with 6 tracks in the vein of Career Suicide, the first EP of Vicious Cycles, of the Statues, etc. The band returns to the nihilism of Vancouver’s early punk scene and sets fire to its remains … with a lot of humour. This band will never appear on Sudden Death Records; true, but who gives a fuck. Burn your idols and jump on the bus! I await the LP with great impatience. (Inside the EPs is a code for downloading the tracks … great idea!)
-Fab tigan (02/09/2009)
B-Lines Self-Titled 7″ Review
Reviews September 16th, 2009
The B-Lines self-titled 7″ – recorded back in May – has finally arrived and I gotta tell ya folks, you should probably head over to your local record shop and pick up a copy on limited edition (445) white/marble vinyl while you still can. They look great, sound great, and come with a free download code (thanks Nominal!) HERE’S THE DEAL. I wanted one copy, but had to visit two records stores to find it when my shift ended at three. I arrived at Zulu by four, paid five bucks for six song EP that clocks in at just over seven minutes. See what I did there? Clever!
I don’t often change my mind so abruptly from my first impression to my final decision regarding bands, but I really did with this one. Don’t get me wrong, I liked B-Lines right out of the gate, but with track titles like Burnt CD’s, Social Retard, Dryer Fire and Crazy Glue, one tends to expect some pretty typical punk-rock shenannigans. Combine that with my first listen where I deemed their sound to be a combination of The Tranzmitors and The Evaporators, you could see where I might have started out with the impression that B-Lines are a better-than-average, although still fairly standard, punk rock band.
HOWEVER, upon several listens, one starts to realize that not only do the B-Lines have something to say, their wonderfully crafted lyrics go far beyond the mayhem of their genre and they actually accomplish what all the great punk bands built their legacies on; ultra-catchy songs that deal with modern issues we can all identify with. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re all played fast as fuck, each track clocking in at just over/under one minute. The real genius of B-Lines is that they can toss out serious lyrics like “I can’t communicate with the human race.” (Social Retard) and “It’s not dying of boredom, it’s just a boring death.” (Dryer Fire) and still make you want to clear the room and dance your ass off. That takes skill, and B-Lines have it in spades.
I could write a whole essay on how good each of these songs are, but I’ll suffice it to say that the four-man combination of Ryan on vocals, Scotty on guitar, Adam on bass and Bruce on drums is exactly what we all need to hear right now. Off to a great start guys!
B-Lines play their next shows on September 18, 19, and 29.
DISCORDER, September, 2009
Speaking of fast and fleeting, blink and you'll miss the B-Lines EP come at you like a horde of pesky mosquitoes lookin' for blood. Singer Ryan Dyck has been known to draw some of his own whilst the band plays its Killed By Death Records-styled punk mess--and who better to satisfy the needs of an A.D.D. generation than these fine gents. Barely two minute blasts of songs about failed relationships, corporate stiffs and death by household appliance, I heard the Urinals, Dead Milkmen and early Rip Off Records in among brother Bruce Dyck's herky-jerky drumming of "Leaving", "Busy Man" and "Crazy Glue", but somehow it sticks together with Adam Fothergill's sturdy bass anchor and Scotty Colin's punchy and punctuated guitar bursts--like on "Social Retard", a song that definitely won't make the request list at the PTA dance. Political correctness be damned, the B-Lines are poised to take on all comers with label honcho Sean Nominal sparing no expense (and no trees apparently) as this release comes equipped with digital download coupons, as if your attention span is going to be better off downloading a megabyte the size of a speck of dust. Meh, who am I to stand in the way of progress? Just go get this record already.
B-Lines singer Ryan Dyck gleefully bleeds for his art
By Gregory Adams
B-Lines At the Astoria on Friday, June 12
What were Vancouverites with Music Waste passes to do last Friday? With over 30 bands spread out between countless venues, concertgoers had some serious decisions to make about what to see for night four of the local festival. With scores of punk gigs, folk shows, and DJ nights competing for attention—not to mention concurrent art openings, comedy performances, and movie screenings—there’s a good chance that at least a couple of Music Waste performers got lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, Vancouver’s own B-Lines weren’t one of those bands. The quartet stepped onto the Astoria’s stage more than ready to take on the near-capacity crowd’s cheers—and even a couple of jeers.
“Take that!” singer Ryan Dyck shouted as he whipped an empty beer bottle at a heckler seconds before the ensemble barrelled into its gleefully violent set.
The gangly frontman’s wild mood swings made the act’s performance extremely unpredictable. Most times, he’d wriggle his rail-thin frame around like an oversized Muppet to B-Lines’ hyper-speedy tunes, a sugary-sweet take on early ’80s hardcore. Other times, however, he’d be scrambling for more ammunition to hurl at fans and band members alike. At one point the singer grabbed a Pilsner out of some booze-hound’s hand while crowd-surfing and pitched it toward Bruce Dyck’s drum kit, spraying shards of glass everywhere. Launched back on-stage, the vocalist pulled a full-on Iggy as he rolled on top of the broken glass, leaving a sizeable gash on his shoulder. Bassist Adam Fothergill and guitarist Scotty Colin looked concerned about their cohort’s cuts, but opted to keep playing after he quickly picked himself up from the ground.
B-Lines have only a couple of MySpace uploads and a promo video for Music Waste to their name, but their fans sung along to their pop-tinged hardcore all night. Songs like “House Plants” and “Busy Man” had people slipping across the Astoria’s checkerboard floor to shout along with the bloodied Dyck. Showing an uncomfortable level of affection for the musician, the minions up front groped and grabbed at his banged-up body and even tried to yank off the poor guy’s trousers.
“That crossed the line, folks,” Dyck cried out as he swatted hands off of his skivvies. “I don’t know if this is what punk is about.”
B-Lines ended the night with the unabashedly offensive “Social Retard” before Dyck threw his mike in the air and hurriedly walked away. Here’s hoping the singer, still gushing plasma, went to a hospital.
While B-Lines revelled in the Astoria’s mosh mentality, Mode Moderne took time out of its set to lecture the rowdy mob.
“Fuck you for moshing,” guitarist Clint Lofkrantz shouted between songs. “Let’s see some real dancing,” snarky singer Phillip Intile countered. By the time the quintet wrapped up its set of moody new-wave tunes, complete with Intile’s Ian Curtis–indebted vocals, the largely raucous crowd was reduced to clapping politely.
Sex Church fared better with the slow stuff. Its opening song lilted along on a sweet sock-hop melody while drummer Ben Phillips finished setting up his kit, but the foursome promptly switched gears, veering into an awesomely eerie barrage of bluesy slide-guitar licks and ghoulish howls.
Despite technical difficulties, including busted amps, broken guitar straps, and a sliding kick drum, Timecopz put on a thrilling mini-set of unhinged postpunk. “This is the best we’ve ever played,” drummer Steve Poutine declared. “It’s super awesome.” With any luck, Vancouver won’t have to wait until next year’s Music Waste for Timecopz to actually bring its A game.