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The Maginot Line

"Theme Song " (7") Split with Jet By Day
Tow Sheds Music

The Maginot Line

"Paris Burning " (CD)
amBiguous CITY! Records

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"Pop Culture Press Sampler 18" (CD)
Song: Working Hard To Make A Bad Life Worse
Pop Culture Press Magazine

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"Copper Press Sampler 13" (CD)
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The Maginot Line


D. Allen – Bass, Vocals
R. Anthony – Guitar, Vocals
S. Lara – Guitar, Vocals;
M. Stalzer - Drums

Paris Burning, the debut full-length from The Maginot Line, presents a quartet focused squarely on the pursuit of smart, energetic rock songs. The opening track, "Working Hard to Make A Bad Life Worse," features a band capable of both straightforward melody and sudden left turns into new territory. Anchored by the precision bass playing of Dave Allen and warm thwack of drummer Mark Stalzer, the quartet is rounded out by the thick chords and brassy ambience of guitarists Sean Lara and Rob Anthony. Sewn together by the vocal interplay of Allen, Lara and Anthony, The Maginot Line relishes every opportunity to enrich the mix with singing that ranges from shouted call-and-response ("Hospital Corners") to three-part harmonies ("Eight by Nine").

All told, Paris Burning is a rocket of an album. In just under 40 minutes, the Line explores sound and subject in a thoughtful but blissfully imperfect style. Ferocious rhythms alternate with weaving guitars, ultimately resolving into a wall-to-wall attack that successfully blurs the line between indie-rock and punk. Thanks to the thoughtful assistance of Chad Clark, Paris Burning ably captures the sound of a developing and spirited band.

Hailing from the District of Columbia and Baltimore, The Maginot Line was formed in the winter of 2000 and includes former members of Branch Manager (Dischord) and Corm (Shute/Dischord). They released their first effort, the To Victory EP, in late November that same year. The Line have had the pleasure to play with such bands as The Dismemberment Plan, Bluetip, Naht, Fin Fang Foom, Stinking Lizaveta, and The Fuses. The band will tour the US this spring and summer.


Grade: A
Holy shit this CD rocks! It's like a cross between Minus the Bear, Shellac, Avail and Samiam. It's mostly upbeat, but the drums can slow down and get all choppy (Shellac), mostly it flows and the vocals remind me a lot of Minus the Bear, only there's multiple vocals, and they're a bit more screamy. The songs are still kinda pop songs that remind me of Samiam, but there's a real dirty and raw edge to them that is reminiscent of the first Avail 7". None of that may make sense, but the quality of this cd from start to finish will do all the talking. This is one of the best rock? Screamo? records I've heard all year. (CS)
- Geek America

Each and every nugget of angular, layered guitar rock from The Maginot Line is delivered quite quickly. Paris Burning runs barely 38 minutes, but a what a ride the band produces! Maginot Line, featuring former members of Branch Manager and Corm, squeeze 11 smart, crisply played anthems into a record that is refreshingly melodic while also highly energized. The band also displays a wide array of styles. From the jangly guitar of "Working Hard to Make a Bad Life Worse" and "Primate Dynamic," to the incredible harmonies of "Eight By Nine" and "Fuck Yeah," to the Fugazi-esque noise of the closing "Turban for the Crown," this is a band in which each member perfectly complements the other. The guitar playing and vocal dynamics of Rob Anthony and Sean Lara are in perfect synchronicity with the tremendous rhythm section of Dave Allen and drummer Mark Stalzer.
- Jersey Beat

The album's title may have something to do with the band's name, but in every way the Maginot Line plays distinctly American rock. The verses are generally strident and almost atonal. The choruses are often multifaceted and utterly beautiful. I sure do like the way these songs are built piece by piece before exploding into splendor.

Indeed, it's that ultra-crafted writing style that gets to me most. These songs are simple joys to hear. And as much as it is obvious these guys worked dreadfully hard writing and arranging these songs, the energy level is quite high as well. There's no quit here.

A lot of fun for me. There's plenty of thought within these songs, but I'm exhilarated by the athletic pacing and tight writing. It's very hard to fuse those elements, but the Maginot Line makes it sound simple.
- Aiding and Abbetting

Building on the same discordant blocks that propel bands from Garrison to At The Drive In to Fugazi to Dismemberment Plan, the Paris Burning album is a keeper. Often the songs build up atonal clashing chords & rhythms and climax with a melodic group vocal orgasm, it is quite cathartic. Like a day covered in a layer of clouds, snow & slush & then the sun breaks through & hits you right in the eye with a blast of warmth. I like it, and I like this band.
- GY, Torpedo Magazine


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