Aaron Lewis is not just some guy. Hes the lead singer of Staind.
There, thats out in the open; Im sure some people didnt even get as far as this word after that sentence.
Heres the next weed-out phrase: This is his country side project.
If youre still here, youll be rewarded. Even with that bizarre pedigree, Town Line is good. Let me repeat that differently: The lead singer of Stainds country side project does not suck. Wow.
Its nothing groundbreaking, for sure. But in terms of hot country that skews toward outlaw country, there are several bright moments and nothing at all embarrassing on this five-song EP. Id rather listen to this than hokey hitmakers Rascal Flatts any day. Lewis voice transfers over brilliantly, and his songwriting is remarkably solid. I mean, he made a career of workman-like rock in Staind; it shouldnt be a surprise that he can do the same for country.
His lyrics are a pastiche of modern country themes (family, friends, freedom, firearms), bordering on caricature, but thats pretty much par for the course these days in country. The chest-beatin patriotism of Country Boy is hard to take seriously, but its forgiven by the fact that absolute legend Charlie Thats How Ya Do It, Son Daniels is slumming/cameoing on the track.
Massachusetts is a finger-picked highlight that could fit on any slow n quiet mixtape. The slide guitar is actually used well, and the harmonies are evocative. Its a straight-up great country song.
So if youre in the mood for some solid country tunes, hit up Aaron Lewis Town Line EP. No matter what you think about Staind. Stephen Carradini