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  Promo EP  
  The Longcut  
Release Date:
  early 2004  
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

Sometimes you canít believe that you can stumble upon something so good. "Theyíre a new Manchester band, and theyíve released their own promo cd," was my brief. "Well whoopy whoop," I thought, and wondered how nice I should be about it. You know, they're a new band and me being a gentleman and not wanting to be rude and all that. I mean, I mightnít want to be Mr. Vitriolic NME Hack, but the band name doesnít exactly inspire confidence. With Longview and Longwave around, the last thing anyone needs is another band with "Long" in the name. In fact, one can only hope that sixties, white, soul belter Long John Baldrey doesnít choose this moment in time to ditch the nostalgia circuit and release some new material....

But then I heard The Longcut, and I did in fact think "whoopy whoop," except this time without the sarcastic undertones. And that's because this CD, made up of four numbers which, rather pretentiously, I would term instrumental journeys rather than songs, is what we in these parts call "the biz".

Opening with Transition, my first thoughts are that we are in The Fall country, as the introductory feedback gives way to singer/drummer Stuart doing a Mark E Smith-like rant. But, the track soon goes off on a completely different tangent as guitarist Lee engages in some John McGeoch-era Banshees guitar work. Then, the band works its way into what sounds like Sonic Youth in their more thrashy moments.

The Kiss Off follows and is initially an altogether different, slower, quieter creature, with softly sung vocals over a gently strummed guitar. It then wakes from its slumber and builds up, via some piercing guitar and wailing vocals, to a thundering climax of Mogwai proportions which demonstrates that this beast isnít house trained just yet!

DVT, like Spires which follows, is an instrumental piece. Like The Kiss Off, it builds from quieter beginnings. However, this time, the different riffs of the guitarist and the bassist play across each other. Then it builds to a combined thrash which sounds like they are just trying to compete with each other. And, all the while, the drummer tries to hammer this thing of beauty into a wall.

Finally Spires arrives. Congratulations to the band for leaving the best track till last, because Spires is, and I donít use the word lightly, superb. Opening with Jonís doomy bass riff that is reminiscent of Joy Division's mighty Day of the Lords, things go off again on yet another instrumental tangent. Once again Mogwai is brought to mind. Excellent stuff!

So, as you can see, I kind of like this EP. And, it would seem that Iím not alone in rating these guys so highly, since rumour has it they are about to sign a short-term deal with Badly Drawn Boy label Twisted Nerve. Still, Iím not saying theyíre going to sell a million or anything like that. After all, they are a predominantly instrumental three piece with a drummer who occasionally sings, and thereís not a flag-waving frontman shaking those darn hips anywhere in sight. And I know that a promise isnít always fulfilled, or Television would have made a decent second album and Wreckless Eric would have been a bona fide pop star. But on the strength of these four tracks, The Longcut have more potential than just about any new band Iíve heard of late.

Related Links:

The Longcut website.


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