Red Line Chemistry – Dying For A Living
The recipe for great music from Red Line Chemistry: add one shot of 90s grunge, one shot of modern rock, shake well and serve chilled with a slice of old-fashioned rock and roll. This five piece band from Kansas City, Missouri delivered one of the best albums of 2011. Originally released in January of last year, RLC’s second album was on slow burn. However, when the following three singles were released, “Dumb Luck” , “You Don’t Get It,” and “Ultragigantor,” fans received them so well they got RLC a place on stage at Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio.
The best song on the album varies depending on how many times I listen to Dying For A Living. At first it was “Dumb Luck.” This medium paced grunge rocker boasts twin guitar riffs and beautiful minor key chord changes. The storyteller’s unfortunate luck is realizing that he should have lived his life differently just before he dies. The lyrics are filled with sadness.
“I want a go to a place I don’t know/ Where I can ease my troubled mind/ Forget all the pain I left behind.”
I suspect guitar players Dave Fyten and Andrew Breit are big fans of Alice in Chains, as their axe work on this song is reminiscent of Jerry Cantrell.
Then, my favorite song was “You Don’t Get It,” an upbeat modern rock tune with harmonic vocals and an addictive guitar melody. It boasts amazing chord work and a song structure that displays technical writing skills unseen in most modern rock bands. This was the band’s second single from the album.
However through multiple listens I discovered Red Line Chemistry’s true depth with songs like “Ultragigantor” , ”Plastic Masquerade”, and “So Many Days.” While the first two singles from this album were meant to attract new listeners, the deeper cuts on Dying for a Living will reward serious fans.
“Ultragigantor” is an anthemic industrial rock song with lyrics meant to be repeated by the crowd at a live show, “Deny Your Limitations.” Drummer Mike Mazzarese is playing the high hat on the upbeat and bass drum on the down beat to make this tune a great head banger. Though singer Brett Ditgen never truly explains the meaning of the song title, the lyrics tell the inspiring story of a man who wants to better himself:
“It’s all part of the animal in myself/ and I just don’t care anymore/ I let it take the shape of duality/ and I feel I’m breaking out/ It’s about letting the animal inside come out.”
Ditgen follows those lyrics with a huge scream that is more metalcore than hard rock.
“Plastic Masquerade” is the album’s epic power ballad, weighing in at seven and half minutes. It starts slow with acoustic guitar harmonies that build into heavy rock. This song shows the true strength of the band, as it demonstrates how dynamic the musicians can be when they want to slow things down.
On the softer side, the album closes with “So Many Days,” which features a cello accompanying the band. It’s also Ditgen’s best vocals, as he does a great job of emoting his feelings of love for someone who is far away. This would be a good song to hold up your lighter during the live performance.
Red Line Chemistry is a big, heavy rock band filled with talented musicians that draw their material from the best of 90′s grunge and modern hard rock & alternative. With frequent key changes and beautiful harmony layered on top of twin guitar riffs they’ll keep your head banging and your toe tapping from start to finish with this release. This band is the musical cure for people who are tired of Nickleback sound-a-like songs.
By the way, they are working on a new album that will be released later in 2012.