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The Shortest Distance to New Music is a Straight Line Arrival

Music | December 1st, 2020

by John Showalter

john.d.showalter@gmail.com

The COVID-19 pandemic may have brought most live musical performances to a screeching halt, but that doesn’t mean that industrious musicians have been any less busy. Streaming outlets and social media have allowed groups and performers to have “live” concerts and release new music that they have recorded during quarantine. One of these groups is the local band Straight Line Arrival, who are now releasing a new album titled “The Greatest Letdown”, a sequel to last fall’s “The Greatest Arsonist”.

Straight Line Arrival is currently composed of three members. The band’s front person and main writer is Sky Husebye. “I play guitar and sing and I am arguably mediocre at both. I’m an autistic non binary punk just trying to do the best I can,” they said. Their drummer is Chris Holmes, who also plays drums in a punk band called Trash Boyardee and washboard/vocals in folk punk duo Seriously Hot Shit. “I’ve also hosted and promoted shows at Red Raven and The Aquarium with artists like Rent Strike, Out of System Transfer, Dirty Junk, Greg Rekus, and many more great friends. Fargo has been an amazing city to me,” said Holmes. Their newest addition is bassist Michael Hansen. “I recently started playing bass with Straight Line Arrival this year,” said Hansen. I grew up in Fargo and have played in a number of punk bands. I currently play guitar in Pass the Flask, Windsor Diets, and I play bass in Trash Boyardee. I also run a small cassette label out of my house in Moorhead called See You Never Records.”

“Straight Line Arrival got its start over six years ago when I was getting clean for good in a basement apartment,” said Husebye. “An old friend left an acoustic in my closet and never came back for it, so I started playing it and writing music. I recorded an album on my cell phone and it’s off from there.” On the name of the band, they said, “I guess Straight Line Arrival is a reference to it representing me arriving at a point in my life where I had to quit using.”

Since their start, Straight Line Arrival has released four records, one of which was recorded with a cell phone. They have also put out two EPs, had two splits, and recorded two albums as a full band over the last year. Almost all of this material self-recorded and self-released except for their most recent, “The Greatest Letdown”, which was released through the newly revived DIY label Tent City Records, with whom they are currently signed. They have also done the occasional touring, including with Husebye’s favorite band HappyHappy, and were slated to play a couple of larger festivals this year until they were cancelled due to the pandemic.

The band’s music defies easy categorization. “Well, I showed my buddy my music, the one who left the acoustic in the first place. He told me it was ‘folk punk’,” said Husebye. “I looked it up, and got hooked into the community. After a bunch of solo records, it’s a full band now and we are I guess what we would call DIY pop-emo-punk.” Holmes described the band’s music as “indie emo”. “I would say my drumming is very inspired by The Strokes, Silversun Pickups, and Smashing Pumpkins,” said Holmes. “Sky’s inspiration on this album is more Ramshackle Glory, My Chemical Romance, and Hot Mulligan. Mike brings in his Off With Their Heads and Against Me! Influence oozing out of his bass. All of it formed together makes for a really solid early era emo and 2000’s indie feel.” There is a common thread through all the material, however. “The consistent factor all throughout the discography is a brutally honest view of addiction, sobriety, anxiety, and manic depression,” said Husebye. “Writing is my poor excuse for a therapist. And SLA is my way of growing and learning who I am, and how to better cope with the world around me when it gets dark.”

So, what is in the future for Straight Line Arrival? There are a lot of variables with the state of the world right now, but Husebye, Holmes, and Hansen are committed to keeping the creative juices flowing. “All this downtime really allows us to focus on writing and recording,” said Hansen. “We just finished up the new full length and already have other releases in the works.” “We livestream every once in a while,” said Husebye, “most of the time for charity events to go help people that are much worse off than I am.” “Sky is going to record the first Trash Boyardee album,” said Holmes. “After that album, a Straight Line Arrival split with Johnny Terror, and after that album, a Straight Line Arrival full length, so I’ve got some studio time in the future for sure.”

Listeners can find Straight Line Arrival’s music on Spotify, Apple Music, and all major streaming services along with Bandcamp. When physical merchandise is available it is sold on Bandcamp and tentcityrecords.net. “While we greatly appreciate any cash thrown our way,” said Husebye, “consider donating to narcan advocacy groups, trans lifelines, emergency shelters, and protester bail funds as well.”

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