All Posts,Old Music — Dan on November 3, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Acute Records couldn’t be more proud than to announce the release of our 11th CD, and our 2nd by The Lines, Flood Bank. With our previous critically acclaimed compilation Memory Span, we introduced (and reminded) music fans of a truly fantastic band of the post-punk era. While Memory Span compiled their singles and EPs, Flood Bank contains the band’s two LPs, Therapy and Ultramarine.

Therapy released October 1981

Ultramarine released March, 1983

When listening to Memory Span, you can hear a progression as the band develops their songwriting and production. On these LPs, while the songwriting is as strong as anything on Memory Span, you hear the results of their further explorations in sound, production and process. One key change was, as singer/guitarist/trombonist Rico says in one of two vintage interviews included in the liner notes, “What’s happened is the focus has gone from me as song-writer and focal point. Now songs start as a rhythm and Joe and Nick, then me and Mick overdub melody and noise.” This results in music with an acute sense of atmosphere and rhythm, a sublime sense of space with a refined subtletly. However dig just below the surface and many of the qualities that made Memory Span such a hit remain; infectious melodies, angsty guitar, funky rhythms, and songs that will get into your brain and stay there.

The development from and comparison to the earlier material couldn’t be more clear then on the first song we’re sharing from Flood Bank, Airlift.

control-click to download

I love so many things about this song, it’s pace, the sound, and note in the chorus they recycle a melody from False Alarm, one of the great tracks from the Cool Snap EP that appears on Memory Span. I guess it’s just so good that it deserved another life!

The Lines didn’t just experiment with the production of these LPs, but with the songwriting—angsty post-punk numbers, punk-funk grooves,  instrumental exercises in noise, and even a few beautiful ballads. I wanted to preview one of them here but it was hard to chose, they’re all favorites of mine.

The Landing
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And just so you don’t think Flood Bank is totally melancholy, there’s a few tracks that will put the angst in your pants as well as anything…

Have a Heart
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And that’s just 3 of 16 songs, an hour and 15 minutes of music. In compiling Flood Bank, we spliced the two LPs together to create what we think is a more listenable CD. Of course the original tracklisting was chosen to suit both sides of two LPs, but since this was going to be one very long CD, we felt it would flow better and create a different experience if we scrambled it up this way. In this day of iTunes and iPods and CD-rs, you can always change the tracklisting back to reflect the original LPs.

If you own both Memory Span and Flood Bank you will have the complete recorded output of the Lines except for 1 song. The original vinyl release of Ultramarine ended with a song called Respit, a backwards version of the first song on the album, Stripe. However, combining both LPs would’ve been to long to put on 1 CD, so we had to cut a song. Here it is.

control-click to download

And there you have it. I’m really excited about this. When we released Memory Span last May, I talked a lot about how the music of The Lines takes a while to grab people’s attention, but when it does it never lets go. Sure enough, in addition to the small cult of fans who’d been waiting years for the CD, new fans have been taking to it like a long-lost family member. I don’t know if that metaphor really works, but you get the idea. And here we are now, presenting a follow up where the music is perhaps even more subtle and mysterious, and maybe more rewarding. Hope you dig it.

We’ll have a web-page for the release soon, in the meantime you can buy it the following ways:

iTunes (USA Customers only)
$11 + shipping in the USA: Add to Cart
$12 + shipping in Canada/Mexico: Add to Cart
$14 + shipping, rest of the world: Add to Cart


  1. Love these tracks. My 8 yr old son’s favorite song right now is ‘have a heart.’ He can’t get enough of it!!!!!


    Comment by DJ BWYSE — December 17, 2008 @ 11:42 am
  2. Hey, thanks a lot! That’s probably my favorite song, along with Airlift and the CD’s ballads, Ultramarine, No Hiding and the posted The Landing.

    Comment by Dan — December 17, 2008 @ 1:30 pm
  3. Heard “Stripe” the other day in my local college radio… Loved it! I do not know how I missed these guys back in the 80’s
    Thanks for bringing them back!

    Comment by Rav4 EV — January 31, 2009 @ 6:22 pm
  4. […] accolades for Flood Bank continue to pour in. Check out Andy Kellman’s 8/10 review at allmusicguide, an extensive 8/10 […]

    Pingback by Acute Records Blog » THE LINES UPDATE — February 25, 2009 @ 12:14 pm
  5. Thanks to you guys, I now know that I didn’t just dream The Lines. Even though I had a vinyl copy of Ultramarine, I could never figure out why they NEVER featured in any New Wave/Postpunk book or article ever. Warms the heart to know I’m not the only one in the world who noticed that this was one of the greatest bands of the era.

    Comment by flashbleu — June 10, 2009 @ 7:03 pm
  6. I’d like to think that in the last few years the tiny cult that appreciated the Lines as one of the great bands has been growing into a slightly less tiny cult.

    Comment by Dan — June 14, 2009 @ 12:42 pm
  7. Many thanks for reissuing these classic records, which I reviewed upon their original release and played incessantly on Australian community radio (3RRR and 2XX) throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Is there any chance that Rico could send me a proper lyric sheet, or is it lost in the flood bank on the landing?

    Comment by Stephen Saunders — December 2, 2009 @ 10:23 pm
  8. Hah, I’ll have to ask. My guess is that Rico would want to stick with the mystery of things, but you never know…

    Thanks for writing and for keeping interest during all those years!

    Comment by Dan — December 3, 2009 @ 1:44 am
  9. i cannot believe i didn’t know about this band until jon savage wrote about them in the guardian a week or so ago…the cd’s have blown my mind…i will now spend a lot of my time spreading the word…there is so much depth in these records..they are all my fave bands and genres rolled into one…thank you or keeping their spirit alive…44 years old and still discovering…i still can’t believe they passed me by at the time…ah well – i’ve found them now…thank you all at acute records

    james x

    Comment by james endeacott — December 17, 2009 @ 5:23 pm
  10. Glad you’re feeling them! There’s some more unreleased stuff coming…and you may even get the chance to see them live soon…

    Comment by Dan — December 19, 2009 @ 12:05 am

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