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The best kept secret in music


"Review of Faultlines "Travelogue""

Like Braid on an indie rock overhaul, you’ll probably find yourself using terms like “yearning,” “angular,” “driving,” and perhaps even “rocking” in listening to Faultlines’ Travelogue. There’s an honest plead of desperation in the vocals that reminds me of The Ghost quite often as he yells over snarling, tick-tock guitars and commanding drum lines.

While every song carries a distinctly different feel and orchestration, its cohesiveness stays intact. Although a better opener could’ve been chosen over the instrumental “Modern Traveler,” which feels more akin to a mid-album track, everything else seems to fit well, even the six-and-a-half-minute “Sirens and Sailors,” stuck right in the middle. “Upon Deaf Ears” is the best example of the explosive, upbeat, rhythmic-in-a-Hot Water Music sense that the band is capable of, though. They aren’t big on typical verse-chorus structure for most of the album, but they apply it on this song, and it results in an emotional, tempo-breaking declaration that could very well be the highlight of the CD.

It’s really the track-to-track transitions and lyrics that are both noteworthy in helping connecting the album amongst itself. Sometimes an abrupt drum fill will immediately open a following song, and sometimes a quick, ear-catching riff, but whatever it is, it connects the tracks nicely. The art of not necessarily concept albums, but rather a connecting theme seems to be lost on a lot of full-lengths these days, which is why it’s nice to hear the band actually try and provide it after challenging themselves with the title. Addressing empty roads and beaten paths (both literally and metaphorically), the band provides this journal as a backdrop to both inquisitive thought and pseudo-psychological insight.

I know it seems like I already made a comparison like this one that name-dropped in eerily similar ways, but the difference here is, Faultlines is making it work. Not spectacularly, but they’re making it work. They’re fairly sure of a direction, and not only do they actually try to move in it, but it’s one that strives as a challenge for originality. At just under fifty minutes, it’s definitely ambitious for a first effort, but with a little cleanup in the production department and just a little more focus, they could definitely wow with their sophomore stab.

3/5 stars - www.Punknews.org

"Faultlines "Travelogue""

Faultlines, Travelogue (Action Heights)

by: Steve Horowitz

Do you miss the sound of guitar heavy, crunchy rock and roll? You can find that here in abundance, and much more. Led by Dan Maloney and Drew Bixby's twin-guitar attack, the Iowa City band Faultlines (not to be confused with the British electronica group Faultline) puts the sound of electric guitars front and center, and with the aid of Sam Koester's pounding drum work and Brian Korey's pulsating bass lines, make a direct, sonic assault on the listener. Oh, the group has its quiet, quirky moments. Sometimes, the fellows get into a catchy groove reminiscent of The Feelies or XTC, but then watch out, with a burst of energy the band erupts into something tough and sinewy. According to the band's website, fans compare Faultines' crunchy and volatile sound with that of the early work of Omaha's Cursive.

The band named the eleven songs after individual days (i.e. "Day One: Modern Traveler," "Day Two: Mid-City Silhouette," "Day Three: Upon Deaf Ears," etc.) although the disc was literally recorded in Chicago in six days from December 27-December 31 2003 and on January 13, 2004. The story line follows a road trip and literally begins with the sound of getting into the van and taking off. Other sounds concrete are woven through to add a dose of reality for the journey into a slightly altered consciousness. There's something about the open road that frees one's mind to imagine and reflect. The instrumental first song sets the mood. The tune's rhythms mimic the cadences in one's head when driving down the highway, sometimes slowing down to think, other times moving faster when paying attention to the traffic and the white lines zipping by.

The rest of the songs contain free-associative lyrics that can jump from thought to thought faster than a van can fly. Anyone who has made long distance drives knows the mixture of boredom and anxiety of high-speed travel. Consider lyrics like: "It's better if you just leave me alone/who really wants to be all alone?" "This place completes me now/but I can't wait to get out," and "It's wishful thinking to think I'll ever win" that are typical in how they express the mindset of one with maybe too much time to ponder and not enough time to act. The hard driving music behind the lyrics complements this restless spirit.

The band knows that time doesn't last forever and that the road has to stop somewhere. They eloquently convey this in a song that appears to be a tribute to the late Matt Davis of 10 Grand, to whom the disc is dedicated. "Day Eight: Augten" opens with the touching "This life, this time, is fragile like glass/" sung with a venomous sneer. The imagery symbolizes despair (i.e. broken mirrors, people dressed in black, cold and empty streets, etc.), but the song ends on a hopeful note. How can it not, for while Matt died needlessly of natural causes, the members of Faultlines are still alive and going places: "Time stands still/but we travel on/always wondering why?" According to Plato, Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living." The power of Faultlines' music helps one reflect and still move on.

- Little Village (Iowa City, IA)

"Alternative Press"

When you're born and raised in the Midwest, you have no choice but to be influenced by your surroundings, both musically and attitude-wise. Which is why, when spinning Faultlines' debut album 'Travelogue', you can easily envision the cold winters, cornfields, miles of flat highway, and all around desolation-- which easily explains the band's desperation to just get out and rock

Since 2001, Faultlines have carried the post-hardcore torch bands like Braid first helped ignite, and among the band's gowing contingent of fans are Murder By Death--four/fifths of whom play on 'Travelogue'. Of course, bassist Brian Korey ismore modest about the quartet's growing popularity: "I can't name one reason why anyone would like us; but whatever it is, I'm glad they do."

-Scott Heisel - Alternative Press Magazine

"Faultlines In the Road"

Faultlines in the road
By Jason Brizzi - The Daily Iowan
Published: Thursday, September 16, 2004
Article Tools: Page 1 of 1

The disc tray of Faultlines' new album shows an outline of Iowa filled with a heart and its surrounding vessels, as drawn by recent UI grad Curt Readel.

The art is especially appropriate, as Faultlines has been at the heart of Iowa City's music for nearly four years. The band's punk rock sing-along anthems have been filling surrounding houses and clubs since the winter of 2001.

Frontman Dan Maloney booked the much-loved Theta Beta Potata house, and Faultlines was more or less the house band - regularly packing the house with drunk college students each weekend.

"The house helped us exist. We played 12 shows there in less than a year," recalled bass player Brian Korey. "We always played our hearts out there - we used to drink a lot more, screw up a lot more - but our hearts were in it."

The venue allowed for the punk glory days of many bands, but especially Faultlines and Preacher Gone to Texas. Between the house, Gabe's, and the Green Room, the band played a local gig nearly every week.

After the Potata's unfortunate demise and a pair of self-released EPs, touring whet the band's appetite for what the members wanted to accomplish after school, taking them to more than 25 states. So what took them so long to step up and release an actual record?

"I guess you could call it laziness, but we weren't going to take time off work," said Korey, who graduated from the UI last spring with the rest of his band, save for token straight-edge member Sam Koester. When Chicago-based label Action Heights offered to fund a recording, the band quickly agreed and set its sights on the road.

Recorded last winter with Mike Lust (Tight Phantomz, Lustre King, and Chicago Reader's entertainer of the year), Travelogue also features contributions from Iowa City favorites Murder by Death. Record in hand, the band is anxious to grow beyond the ubiquitous local-band role.

"We're part of a dying generation. Most of the locals from our era are broken up - Burn Disco Burn, Alto Heceta, Speed of Sauce, Ten Grand, Preacher Gone to Texas," Maloney said. "We're the Aerosmith of our generation," Koester joked. The band is anxious to get in the van, kicking off a 60-date behemoth U.S. tour this week, with more winter dates booked already. "Actually, we're more like Styx."

As part of one of Iowa City's longest-standing local bands, Korey is uncertain of local music's future. "We struggle with Iowa City now," he said. "Three months ago, we played at Gabe's for 25 people - the sense of community we grew to love isn't as strong."

Struggling with the local scene it helped forge, the band has paid its dues but can't expect anything in return, making it the perfect time to get in the van.

Faultlines will perform Saturday at Gabe's with the Reputation, League, and Curtains. Doors open at 9:30, and the show is $5, 19-plus.
- Daily Iowan


"sirens and sailors," self released ep, 2001
"the van go ep," self-released ep, 2002
"veggie music vol. 1," veggie records, 2001
"redline '04 sampler," redline distribution, 2004
"no coast compilation sponsored by Hurley, Hey Sherman, 2004
"best of the midwest," curtain call music, 2003
"Mother House Crisis Nursery Benefit" Youth Against Hunger, 2001


Feeling a bit camera shy


Formed in the winter of 2001, Faultlines quickly developed into a mature and sincere intense-rock band by playing packed house shows and reputable rock clubs within the first two months of collaborating. Like a well-oiled relay team, the band's sound seamlessly transfers from screamy math-rock to melodic indie rock. With every new indie band falling quickly into a pre-packaged category (and thousands of fans willing to accept it), faultlines actually (no, seriously) writes songs without trying to emulate or recreate a sound that's already been perfected. This isn't to say the band's influences are impossible to discern--they're not one of those bands claiming to be 100 percent original--it's just to say that you won't be bored in the first six minutes. Live shows are high energy sweat fests that combine call-and-response guitars/vocals (reminiscent of Braid) with rock outs and breakdowns. Besides having played in over 30 states, recorded 2 eps and a full-length for Action Heights Records (Featuring members of Eyeball artist Murder by Death, 2004), and played in venues like the Metro and the Fireside Bowl in Chicago (along with the Replay Lounge in Lawrence, Ks, the Green Door in Oklahoma City, and other clubs in raleigh, NC; el paso, tx; and tempe, az;), Faultlines has played with such bands as Thursday, the Promise Ring, Strike Anywhere, the Juliana Theory, Dillinger 4, Piebald, the Exit, the Ghost, the Lawrence Arms, Radio 4, Hey Mercedes, Desaparecidos, Rilo Kiley Spitalfield, Fallout Boy, and the 2004 Suicide Girls Burlesque Tour. The new full-length, entitled "Travelogue," was recorded with Chicago producer and rock-entertainer-extraordinare Mike Lust (Lustre King, Tight Phantomz), who has recorded such Southern Records bands as Sweep the Leg Johnny, Ten Grand, and Will Whitmore.