The Assembly Line
Gig Seeker Pro

The Assembly Line

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Pop Alternative




"The Assembly Line (recorded 6/17/11)"

N/A - Radio interview - WBNY

"The Assembly Line - Graves Like Oceans [Review]"

I am no expert in Emo music. To be honest I am really unsure of what it is, but listening to the unsigned Thornfin Nguyen from New York, I can see why there is a market for it, and The Assembly Line should definitely have a place in the genre.

You could trawl through Myspace for days upon days upon days listening to unsigned bands and their musical meaderings, but you do well to find an artist, or a band that sound as accomplished or as polished as Thornfin Nguyen.

The Assembly Line is Nguyens’ debut full length album, and a follow up to his 6 track EP that he had previously offered for free to anyone who asked for a copy. The Assembly Line ended up having to give away nearly a thousand copies.

Part of the secret to The Assembly Line is producer Mark Troth Lewis, who is obviously quite good at his job. He has produced an album of high quality and given Nguyen every chance possible of being noticed on a wider stage than merely Myspace.

From listening to Graves Like Oceans it is obvious that Nguyen has a nice voice, if entirely in an American Soft Rock band kind of way. There is also no doubt that Nguyen is quite an accomplished musician too. On Graves Like Oceans he is also backed up by, what I can only assume, are session musicians.

There are some highlights on the album., notably the lovely Piano intro of Track One “Hope and Expectation are not the Same” and Track Six “11:11” the darker and more edgier side to the “melodramatic pop song”. There is also Track Seven “ Awake” that again brings back the piano, this time coupled with a quite haunting vocal and some restrained strings.

I can see why The Assembly Line has a following, even if Nguyen doesn’t have the backing of a record label. I am sure in time there will be a label that will pick up on Nguyens’ undoubted ability to sing and play piano and guitar, but I am sure that whatever label does pick him up, they may just package Ngufem a little better. Perhaps form a band, add a female vocalist and mix up the song repertoire a bit. -

"“…?Graves Like Oceans? coasts smoothly from start to finish with many favorites for a playlist to adore.”"

The Assembly Line is hardly assembled. Since the ‘band’ began after Thorfin Nguyen’s previous efforts, he has been the only consistent face to associate with the name, as well as the man to talk to when trying to find anything out about the alt-rock sound they produce.

While it might appear to be an album just from Nguyen, Graves Like Oceans doesn’t sound like an individual’s efforts due to strong resemblances to other well-established artists and the encompassing and airy feel their bandmates provide. For Thor and his music, the recipe for success takes heart from his favorite groups – Death Cab for Cutie and Jimmy Eat World – although the real influences stretch into the range of artists such as Goo Goo Dolls and Mae. Each group hangs on the lyrics of the lead vocalist, yet they all benefit from elaborate instrumental backdrops.

Pacing the album’s alternative and rock blend are “Valor Among Thieves”, “twenty-thousand Leagues” and “Pretend”. The voice behind the music curses in sweet revelries and an emaciated language similar to the music leaders of the alternative world. In “Pretend” a meticulous acoustic accompanies Nguyen’s lyrics of “I pretend all I want, but I can’t get you out of my mind” as a tapping high hat clicks away. Songs like this create a cohesion in the album that makes it easy to listen to all of the way through.

Overall Graves Like Oceans coasts smoothly from start to finish with many favorites available for a playlist to adore. Even better, this album lasts 14 tracks, which don’t get old or confused with another song.

The Assembly Line is currently being featured in September’s Alternative Press mag as a Top Unsigned Band of the Month. For more on the group, head to their MySpace or head to iTunes to check out this album. - Music Under Fire

""Impossible to skip a single track!" Debut LP Graves Like Oceans receives 95/100"

”Graves like oceans swallow me whole.”

With a sea of sound and the same dynamic (and a few of the same songs) that made me love the EP so much when I heard it last summer, Graves Like Oceans has enveloped me in its folds and drowned me in its sound. I’m already doubtful as to whether I’ll hear a better album all year.

The album comprises the 6 tracks from the Explodes Like Fireworks EP, one of which, “Recovery,” has been re-mastered, and other 8 songs entirely new songs. I wasn’t sure if the all-round quality of the EP could be matched, but it may even have been narrowly beaten with this record. Every new song adds a fresh dimension to the music and each one is larger than life, engulfing me with wave after wave of brilliance.

The introductory track reminds us that “Hope And Expectation Are Not The Same,” i.e. while I hoped that it would be good, I, as a general detractor of intro tracks, did not expect it to be good. At first listen I didn’t entirely understand, but then I realized that it did exactly as it set out to do; all it is is a song comprising a couple of loops and a few sound clips in order to form a purposefully semi-coherent mish-mash of pleasant noises. Of course, this means that it can sound as if it were just a poorly-put-together piece at first, which is a shame. In short, it is an unnecessary addition to the record, but by no means a bad one.

Placed at track numbers 2, 3, 5, 8, 11 and 13 are the songs that made up the EP that was released last summer and even now these tracks hold the same power over me that they did back then - no mean feat in itself. One of these, “Recovery,” has been re-mastered for an even bigger and more powerful sound.

Each of the new songs is just as good as anything on the EP before it. The first of these is “Twenty Thousand Leagues.” Catchy, lyrically astute, and wonderfully pieced together, it makes for a great introduction to the new material. The song comes into its own two and a half minutes in, leading into a powerful and moving finish.

Following on from “Chasing Ghosts” is "11:11," a song that you can listen to more than just the two times a day that the title might suggest. Succeeding this is probably what many will consider to be the hidden surprise on the album, entitled “Awake.” It begins in a way that you might not even notice, before slipping into a soft, sleek piano ballad that I can’t help but love – I’m not even usually a fan of songs like this, but this band has changed my outlook on music so much over the past year that I’m no longer surprised by this.

“Heart to Life” is the next new song to feature and this, again, is one of my favorite songs on the record. In fact, it may even prove to be one of my favorite songs for the year, although to say for certain now would be premature by any standards. It has absolutely everything that makes this album what it is: big sounds, big choruses, good lyrics, and the singalongability factor (it’s a word if I tell you it is). The strings towards the end really bring it all together and make it that much more cohesive.

The next song is the one that gives the album its name, although its title, “Floating Fur And Feather,” doesn’t immediately lend itself to that thought. It starts a lot bigger than a lot of the songs on the album and continues on its way through, even adding horns (usually a pet peeve of mine), but, surprise surprise, I like it.

The penultimate new song to be featured on the album is “Sinking Ships,” a somewhat upbeat and catchy melody accompanied by the mellow, warm, and comforting vocals that permeate the album, before leading into the re-mastered “Recovery” and then the album’s closer, “These Hills And Valleys.” The latter is filled with symphonic strings throughout, teasing out more of the mood that dominates the album and makes it what it is. Interestingly, it also ends in chaos, in a way mirroring the opening of the album, wrapping everything up perfectly.

So, what has been achieved with these fourteen tracks? Well, for a start, a wonderfully cohesive whole. Nguyen surely knows how to put a song together (with the help of his producer, Mark Lewis, of course) and with this comes the huge, warm, and well-rounded sound that, hopefully, will make this album similarly big in terms of sales. Nevertheless, this could not have been accomplished without Nguyen’s voice; it sounds so relaxing, smooth, and warm, yet every time I hear any song on this album, old or new, my heart races and I still find it impossible to skip a single track. This is most definitely the first essential album to be released this year.

Graves Like Oceans truly did swallow me whole. -


Explodes Like Fireworks EP - 2008
Graves Like Oceans LP - 2009
Full Impartial EP - 2012

Songs with Radio Airplay:

Valor Among Thieves
Twentythousand Leagues

Songs featured in TV and Film:
Twentythousand Leagues



What do passion, MTV and Craigslist all have in common? These factors all led to the formation of NYC indie rock band, The Assembly Line. Brought together by an ad on Craigslist and a passion for making music, the band has seen success in recent years with placements on MTV, rave reviews in the press and are ready to take on 2012 with their new video and song “Full Impartial.”

In 2009, singer Thor Nguyen recorded and released a 6 song EP and posted an ad on Craigslist to recruit musicians to join him and play it out live. He received responses from several local musicians including guitarist Chris Potter, bassist Zach Falkow and drummer Josh Ridley. Josh was the last to join and solidify the lineup just one week before a big gig at Webster Hall in NYC. After playing that show, the group continued to perform together in NYC and along the east coast, promoting their first full-length album, “Graves Like Oceans”. Showcasing heart-on-sleeve honesty blended with memorable sweeping melodies, The Assembly Line were named one of Alternative Press' Top Unsigned Band of the Month in 2009.

With so much positive feedback and recognition right off the bat, the band felt confident and decided to pursue MTV and discuss opportunities with the network. After contacting several people and submitting their music, their persistence and confidence paid off when they received a call from the director of music in Los Angeles. He loved their sound and wanted to integrate some songs into their programming. The Assembly Line were featured on hit MTV shows 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom 2 with their songs ‘Madison’, ‘Awake’, ‘11:11’, and ‘twenty-thousand leagues.’

Coming off recent shows with Maroon 5, Wiz Khalifa, 100 Monkeys, Rookie of the Year, Allister, I Am The Avalanche, Amber Pacific, and more; The Assembly Line are ready to break out in 2012. Look out for their new song and music video for the track “Full Impartial” and soon to be released, "Photograph". With several performances lined up and more new music up their sleeve, the band is poised to have a breakout year. They are ready to seize the opportunity to do what they really love – make music.

“To me, music is important because it creates that shared experience,” singer Thor said. “Music is there when you are happy, sad, angry…it’s that common ground that so many people can identify with. I think it’s an amazing thing when music can manipulate or change your feeling. That’s why I love music so much. It’s there to celebrate, inspire or sympathize with you. What else can do that in 3 minutes?”