With thin, reedy vocals that at times recall John K. Samson of the Weakerthans, and crunchy guitar sounds that will have you fondly remembering your favourite Halifax power pop bands of the '90s, Knox isn't taking you anywhere you haven't been before. But the six songs that make up Lines are catchy, and the record stands on the strength of some very solid hooks and a few weird lyrical flourishes. "That's What You Do" in particular contains some memorable turns of phrase — I found myself manically repeating the "Change the channel / Cha-change the channel" mantra after hearing it. "Fire" is an obvious highlight and an easy choice for a single, a carpe diem anthem that delivers everything you could want out of a three-minute pop/rock song.
None of these songs top the four-minute mark, and all of them feature old school production with a nice, warm feel. The downtempo, Beatles-esque closer "Good Enough" is particularly intimate sounding, complete with tape hiss that suggests it may have been recorded in someone's living room, or in a motel room on the road.
Despite its brevity, Lines avoids feeling slight on the strength of its songs and a few unexpected touches. Colour me intrigued to see what Knox would do with a full-length record. (MapleMusic)