Admirably, Thee Shams never heeded A&R weasels' requests to sweeten the sound and shed a few pounds. Then again, this bunch never really rose above the level of a bar band either. Like Thee Shams' Midwest compadres the Sights and Greenhornes, the band favors a midtempo, organ-heavy vibe. Thee Shams can bang out some good ragtime rockin' and eventually approximate a trash-can Cream. But basically, they're the guitar-shop guy's idea of a neo-garage band -- sturdy, proficient, faceless. It's often hard to distinguish the mostly mopey strumming and proud everyman stance from a plain lack of personality. So Sign the Line feels like a post-hype hangover, but the live show is still pretty drunken.