State Line Syndicate


Los Angeles pop-punk trio, State Line Syndicate, are breathing new life into the genre that was a radio staple in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.

The band, formed in 2013 by singer/guitarist Makeshift Mike, drummer Mikey Virgin and Joe E on bass, make its intentions clear with the title of its debut LP, “Go Back to the 90s.” Tracks like “March 10th” and “Loves Me So” have bass lines that sound like they could have come from ‘90s bands like Choking Victim or early Green Day.  Makeshift Mike’s vocal delivery is very reminiscent of Tomas Kalnoky from Streetlight Manifesto and Catch 22 fame.

“Borrowed Time” and “This Bleeding Heart,” the first two songs on the album, hit you like a 1-2-punch as they blend together seamlessly to hit the ground running.  Other tracks on the album break from the formulaic feel that pop-punk can have. “Amor” is like something from the angst-filled days of being a teenager trying to get the attention of a crush. “The Distance” is another track about angst and youth, but the verses have a certain pop sense and charm to make it one of the standout songs of the album.

“Go Back to the 90s” undoubtedly lives up to the name not only in style but in production as well. There’s definite realness to these tracks, nothing feels as if it was mass produced by an engineer, which makes the album carry a tangible weight. It’s a strange feeling to be nostalgic about a band that’s only been around two years, but that’s the kind of sound and mood State Line Syndicate is able to emit from “Go Back to the 90s.”

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