On their second release, The Fight of Our Lives, Knoxville quintet Straight Line Stitch create a melodic brand of modern metalcore that mixes softer sections with a more aggressive sound. The band cites influences such as DevilDriver and In Flames, but it doesn’t live up to the quality of either of those bands. At their best, Straight Line Stitch play crisp, catchy straight-up metal that capitalizes on the beautiful singing voice of frontwoman—and current Revolver Hottest Chick in Hard Rock—Alexis Brown (see pics of her here), and her clean vocals prove to be an impressive contrast to her powerful screams. But the group more often produces the kind of straightforward riffs and breakdowns that sound generic to listeners familiar with the band's influences. On tracks like “Conversion” and “No Tomorrow,” song structures are predictable and repetitive, and Brown’s clean vocals seem more forced than natural. The group’s potential comes through best on “Cold Front,” a hooky, sing-along-ready track that blends its lighter melodic sections with heavier ones quite well. But overall, The Fight of Our Lives is a mostly dull record with flashes of metallic brilliance. DAVID McKENNA
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