Title: Welcome Home
Release Date: June 2, 2009
Review By: Scott L
01. Welcome Home
02. Give Chase
03. Hearts Hero
04. Almost Over
05. Eerily & Hauntingly
06. We Know The Ending
The CD release announcement originally posted to this site stated, “…an excellent release and one of the best female fronted rock bands in the independent scene right now.” Typically, I hate to disagree with a fellow IVM staffer… especially when it happens to be the head honcho himself. But like a good hockey scrap, sometimes the situation necessitates it and you don’t have much of a choice but to man-up and answer the bell. Thankfully, this wasn’t one of those situations. But I had you for a second, right? Actually, in this particular situation, I couldn’t agree more with the release announcement. These guys… and gal… are awesome.
Storyline is a female-fronted 5-piece rock outfit from Springfield, Missouri. Smooth grooves, steady beats, and sweet vocals are the order of the day. All delivered with label-quality production values and a perfect mix. This is one of those CDs that’s hard to believe is a debut release. And truth be told, it kinda is… and it kinda isn’t. You see, three of Storyline’s members were previously in One Star Story and a lot of the music that found it’s way onto “Welcome Home” was originally slated to be One Star Story’s next release. So with two prior EP releases under their collective belts, the maturity you find on this EP is a welcome carry-over from their previous project and certainly ups the dazzle factor.
Style-wise, Storyline comes in as a combination of Paramore meets Eisley with a bit more of a pop-friendly rock flavor. And I didn’t just choose those two because they also have female leads… there really is a legitimate resemblance. So if you’re at all into them, you should be right at home with Storyline. And it should probably go without saying, that if you liked One Star Story… you’ll really love Storyline. Okay, that probably really should have gone without saying… or typing.
Anyway, the standout track was a toss up between “We Know The Ending” and “Hearts Hero”. Right from my initial run-through of the EP, I knew that I would have an issue on this point because both tracks are just insanely catchy. I’d be surprised if these weren’t fan favorites and the designated sing-along songs for the live show. There are good songs and then there are those songs that “have it”. Whatever the “it” is… these songs have it… in spades… and beg for major radio rotation. Not that any of the tracks were downers, it’s just that these two really stood out.
Lyrically, there’s a positive spin in the EP’s overarching message, but nothing really blatant about Storyline’s spiritual leanings. The songs are typically hopeful and encouraging. Usually about hanging in there through rough seasons and the reward for perseverance. Consider “We Know The Ending” which says, “it’s been a long one / too long to forget / we may be losing / but we haven’t lost yet / so sing out ‘cause this is our song / hold on ‘cause it won’t be too long / and if it is / we know the ending / wah-oh / wah-oh / and now holding on feels just like letting go”.
I ran a few questions by the band. Here are the responses.
IVM: Christian band or Christians in a band? And why?
“We are followers of Christ who are in a band. While you will never see us ‘hiding’ our faith, you’ll also never see us pushing our beliefs on anyone. Our music / lyrics are simply a reflection of the things we go through: our past, our future, relationships, aspirations, etc. The things every one of us go through. For us, our faith is the underlying guide to how and why we respond to those events. In the end, we want listeners to walk away with music that they enjoy listening to whether they are a Christian or Atheist; and if they find some personal connection to our music (faith-based or not), we just feel honored to be a part of their lives.” (answered by Geno Valloni / drummer)
IVM: What do you want to see God do through Storyline?
“I think ultimately we want to just share our music with as many people as we can, and plug in to their lives as much as possible. There’s nothing more rewarding than to hear how a song has played a positive role in the lives of the friends we meet at shows or online. Each of us knows this could all be taken away at any moment, so we do our best to enjoy every opportunity we get to perform and interact with our friends we meet along the way. We feel like God has blessed us with the opportunity to do what we are doing, so right now we are honestly just following His lead.” (answered by Ashley Morgan / lead singer)
IVM: What do you want a listener to come away with after hearing your CD?
“Hopefully they come away wanting to listen to it again. Ha ha. No, but seriously, we are all so proud of this album, and for me personally, it’s the first album I have been a part of where I enjoy listening to the final product. I think all of us would love listeners to walk away with a song or two that really applies to their lives. Whether someone gets inspired to pursue their dreams by listening to ‘Give Chase’, or a soldier returning home is greeted by the song ‘Welcome Home’; we honestly just want to be a part of our listeners lives.” (answered by Geno Valloni)
And there you have it. The reason behind the rhyme… or something like that.
Overall: Storyline’s “Welcome Home” EP is a great debut release (wink, wink) and well worth your time to check out. Just over 21 minutes of smooth-as-silk female-fronted rock that’ll lift your spirit and rock your stereo. This EP drops on June 2, 2009, so mark your calendars.