Lining Time


Shadow World • 2022

Punk claimed that everyone can do everything as long as they want to. Post-punk emphatically demanded that all possible means should be used to achieve this. Lining Time added that radical reduction was also an adequate means of musical radicalism in precisely that vein. The group was founded at Dartington College of Arts in the southwest of England by five dance theatre students three years after Margaret Thatcher came to power and half a decade after the Reclaim the Night marches began. The title of their only self-published album »Strike« seems prophetic, if not fatalistic: two years after the tape’s release in 1982, the British miners’ strike was crushed and the dreams of a grand alliance of workers with the feminist and LGBTQI movements were shattered. But on »Strike« you can still hear the fighting spirit that had driven those same political efforts against the neoliberalisation of Britain. »Here I am« are not without reason the first words of this album, which is carried above all by self-confident lyrics, i.e. equally imaginative and varied vocal performances. Despite all the drumming and/or guitar strumming that occasionally accompanies them, the focus lies squarely on the singers, who sometimes perform as a canon, but mostly as a choir – that is, as a collective. This is also why, with the exception of the gripping ballad »To Talk to You« and the surprising cover of the doo-wop classic »Stay (Just a Little Bit Longer)«, the tone is rather anthemic and combative. »Strike« is undoubtedly a document of its time, but its (re)discovery more than welcome in such a bleak present.