Local CD Review: Straight Line Stitch

When Skies Wash Ashore (Raging Nation/Koch)

Finally hitting its stride after nearly a decade, Straight Line Stitch nails the same sweeping-but-crushing kind of melodic metal perfected in recent years by Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage on its big-label debut, When Skies Wash Ashore. Singer Alexis Brown, who's been with the band since 2003, goes from guttural to majestic in a single beat, and the band is equally adept at switching from bone-splintering riffs and half-speed breakdowns to big, hook-filled choruses and super-catchy solos. The band's not reinventing anything, but When Skies Wash Ashore is a big step forward for a band that's busted its collective ass for years.