sat 19/10/2019

CD: The Longcut - Arrows | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Longcut - Arrows

CD: The Longcut - Arrows

Noughties indie sensations return from a decade away hoping to reclaim their throne

Taking flight again

Manchester trio The Longcut’s latest album, their third, comes nearly a decade after their last one, but is rife with ideas and energy as if it's still riding the crest of their initial success. Their M.O. is twofold, either shoegaze-ish, jangle-tinted numbers with wispy indie vocals in a singing style not a million miles from Ian Brown of The Stone Roses, or mantric post-Krautrock jams that pulse with building energy. The cuts in the former style are not dramatically special but the ones in the latter tend to be vividly realised and truly dynamic.

The best of Arrows boasts imaginative production, combining drone guitar tactics with subtle electronics. This is partly courtesy of Tom Knott, regular associate of psych-folkers The Earlies, who mixed the album and added brass sounds to the nearly nine-minute “Popic". It's one of the best songs, the album’s catchy chorused centrepiece, and it blossoms into a prolonged rock-out which owes debts to Philip Glass. Other stormers include the ascendant guitar-led instrumental “Beasts”, the bleepy synth banger “Deathmask” and the closing “Monuments”, a Godspeed You! Black Emperor-esque wall of euphoric guitar distortion.

The slower, janglier cuts, the ones with more focus on singing, are not quite as effective, but neither are they a wash-out. So much about popular music is timing and luck. It’s so often about catching a wave as it starts to swell, riding a combination of genuine gigging popularity, fan devotion and media acclaim. The Longcut’s stars were aligned perfectly for just under a year circa 2005-06 when they were one of the hottest new bands in Britain. For whatever reasons, their career never exploded and now bands such as FEWS are the hopefuls mining this territory. Don’t disregard this band yet, though, for there is enough potency on Arrows to bode well for a future resurgence in their fortunes.

Overleaf: watch the video for "Deathmask" by The Longcut

For just under a year circa 2005-06 they were one of the hottest new bands in Britain


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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