Red Swingline is the self titled release by solo artist Red Swingline. Red Swingline plays a mix of experimental jazz mixed with prog metal that is very appealing and sounds great. What I like most about solo artists is that they have to have tons of talent to do what they do. They have to play multiple instruments, and be pretty sufficient at all of them. The artist in question here, Erich, is not only sufficient on all of the instruments he plays but, is extremely talented. His guitar work in the opening track is absolutely superb, especially when mixed with the drums. The distortion on the guitars adds a nice touch, and the acoustic sections add a lot to the overall appeal of the album.
Unlike the first song, "Kainophobia" and "Misdirect" are all very heavy songs. "Kainophobia" starts off slow and mellow but then it blows you away with a great opening guitar lick coupled with fantastic drums. The bass work on this song is awesome, especially the slap bass he does halfway through the album. The experimental jazz metal really shines through on this song and even reminds of Atheist at some times. The drums also come through more on this song, which is a good thing, and the blast beats are very finely done. "Misdirect" is a much more synth driven song and is a really cool edition to this album, since it is nothing like the first two tracks. "A Gramme of Soma" returns back to the start of the album with light guitars and acoustic sections, just like the first song "Veritas". The last song, "Violet", is definitely my favorite on the album mostly because it is the most progressive and I think the most technically difficult song on the album. I could be wrong on that last point, but it sure shows Erich's immense talent and willing to play things that aren't necessarily easy.
The creativity on this album is awesome, and it never gets old. Every song brings something new to the table, and will leave the listener astonished at the talent that is Red Swingline. Another surprising thing about this album is that the production is very good. That is something that is hard to do when you are self producing an album, and when you're the only one in your band it makes it even harder. This is a great effort by a great band and best of all it's free off of his Bandcamp site.
4. A Gramme of Soma