Onelinedrawing – Sketchy EP #2

Sketchy EP #2

If you haven’t heard Onelinedrawing before, this is the project of former Far guitarist/vocalist Jonah Matranga, and it’s absolutely nothing like Far. While that band played a much heavier, post-hardcore style of rock, Jonah’s solo project takes the more acoustic, singer/songwriter feel. But he’s not playing folk songs here, but rather these are stripped down, bare-bones, emotionally soft and intricate songs. And Matranga’s unique voice works perfectly on these songs.
Onelinedrawing is a solo project, and that’s easy to hear. You don’t have one person here attempting to everything, just one person doing what he’s good at. Matranga plays calm yet emotional songs accompanied by acoustic guitar and occasionally adding his own vocal harmonies. His songs come across as stripped-down versions of Far songs, in a way, only perhaps showing more of an emphasis on songwriting.
I expect that Jawbox’s “Savory” is going to be one of the most covered songs by indie rock artists, and the first song on this EP is an interesting cover of that. Using synthesized beats, acoustic guitar, and Matranga’s vocals (at times singing harmony as well), this song takes a more bare but intense feel. “Crush on Everyone” is back to Onelinedrawing’s unique style. Just acoustic guitar and Matranga’s voice singing an emotional and yet surprisingly poppy song. “If you have just one, let me be that love / If you have lots of others, please let me be / please let me be one,” he sings. Matranga has a way of getting a lot of intensity and feeling out of his vocals. “Got My List” is very bare-bones and calm, and harmonies with Allyson Seconds work especially well here. This one’s actually a 7 Seconds cover. “Laugh, Fall Or the Road” may be my favorite track here, because Jonah adds a synthesized beat, keyboards, and very sharp guitar work to give this a much more full sound. Throw in some more sonic guitar and step up the beat, and this could be a Far song, I imagine. “The Big Parade” is quieter again, and the vocals have a kind of sad, desperate feel to them. “My Little Relief” finishes things off with a more folk-style feel. Matranga’s voice gets very high here and also breaks with emotion, and he pulls it off well.
I’m not a huge fan of Onelinedrawing. Truth be told, I miss Far. I liked their heavier and intense sound. And I am a big fan of Jonah Matranga. I suspect I will buy every Onelinedrawing release, just to hear his powerful voice. His songs have a nice, personal quality to them. And while a lot of people are doing the singing-with-acoustic-guitar thing, Matranga does it especially well.