It's rare to see a bands first release warrant a vinyl pressing, but this record was too good to pass up! Landline is a collaboration between Shirley Mistaken, and Toyota Avalon (Wonder Bread, Toyota) playing perfectly executed synth-laden new-wave / punk. Recommended for fans of Pylon, B-52's, and Suburban Lawns.
Our take: Debut release from this new project featuring members of Wonder Bread and Toyota. While Landline shares characteristics with the recent crop of drum machine punk bands, to my ears Landline is on another level. Most of those bands have a rough and unschooled quality, but Landline make sophisticated pop music. Their songs are a lot more complex, with a sense of forward movement and rising and falling action to them, and this LP also sounds a lot better than most releases in a similar vein, with both stronger fidelity and a more professional, even-handed mix. Thus, when describing them I want to reach for comparisons to professional pop acts like Gary Numan or Missing Persons. Still, if you’re into bands like BB Eye this sounds like a more polished, professional take on that sound. With 12 songs the LP is longer than I’m used to for this style of music (where a slacker ethos is the norm), so the tracks that stand out are the ones where the group takes a different approach. The most memorable of these is “Stop It,” a slower, darkwave-type song that reminds me of something that might have appeared on a later Siouxsie & the Banshees album like Hyaena or even a slower, more meditative Boy Harsher song. As I noted, though, this moment merely stands out in an album packed with great songs. It wouldn't surprise me to see Landline move on to bigger and better things from here, so pick this up and get in on the ground floor.