BLACK LINING: Twist My Arm: 7”

I had high hopes for this record when I opened it and a sticker reading “Punkrock ist wichtiger als Sonne” and stamped with Antifa Gourmet fell out. I’m happy to report it didn’t disappoint. Black Lining from Mainz, Germany writes cheerful pop punk with a strong Lookout Records vibe. “Grumpy Clown” sounds so gleeful—which given the lyrics they are not—that it feels like the clown is putting on a show or a front, which I guess is the point. “Sunshine Campaign” is similarly tongue-in-cheek with a bright, warm criticism of hypocrites who are all words and no action. “Bottom line” sounds high in spirits while describing the rock bottom lows of checking the news, seeing “this perpetual hand me down” of how past generations have and continue to destroy our future and laments “my hands can’t stay clean here!” But… you know… upbeat! There’s a certain hopefulness that’s conveyed when you speak the dismal truths in an ebullient melody accentuated with many woahs. It’s speedy. It’s catchy and it has something to say. –Lorien Lamarr (Keep It A Secret, keepitasecret.de)