Line & Circle’s moody, layered alternative rock harks back to the days college rock was a thing. The L.A. rockers put their own stamp on the sound beginning in 2012 with a couple of singles (including “Roman Ruins”), followed by an EP and then, two years ago this month, the panoramic full-length “Split Figure.” And while you don’t hear many rock bands in 2017 whose sonic touchstones include R.E.M., there’s no mistaking the chiming guitars, intricate patterns and bittersweet vocals in Line & Circle’s erudite narratives.
Brian Cohen and bandmates Eric Neujahr (guitar), Jon Engelhard (bass) and Garrett Ray (drums) are back at it again — Line & Circle’s new EP “Vicious Folly” will be out Dec. 1 via Grand Gallop. It was made largely at L.A.’s Vox Studios with Michael Harris (who worked as an engineer on recent releases by Grizzly Bear, Rostam, Angel Olsen and Foxygen, among others) and mixed by Jonathan Low (The National, the War on Drugs). Despite what the title might suggest at this moment in history, the shimmering single “Man Uncouth” is about romantic, not political, conflict. Like the rest of the songs — which, the band says, “contemplate the disquieting idea that man himself is his own greatest threat” — it is introspection writ large.
||| Stream: “Man Uncouth”
||| Live: Line & Circle perform Nov. 3 at the Lost Room and Dec. 9 at Basic Flowers.