Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Album Review: The Longcut – Idiot Check/You Got the Love

A couple years ago I was listening to one of those cds given out with British music magazines, when I happened upon a band called the Longcut. The song I heard was called “Dead Man,” and it was a knockout. Tons of synthy noise and austere vocals, the song would end up on their 2006 debut LP, A Call and Response. The album was a perfect blend of electro and post-punk; a palpably cool, stark reality that few bands are able to do properly. In a way, it seems fitting for them to be from Manchester, which is the birthplace of so many great, if not a touch morose, bands. And so, I waited and waited for new material to be released, given how killer the LP had been.

My wait has been duly rewarded with the new single, Idiot Check/You Got the Love. “Idiot Check” is instantly recognizable as being a Longcut song, thanks to Stuart Ogilvie’s piercing monotone and the instrumental racket backing it up. It’s perfect for thrashing around your bedroom to while listening to at ear-splitting volume. The guitar crescendo about four minutes in is one of many reasons to love the track. “You Got the Love” is three furious minutes featuring a throbbing opening bass line and some wickedly jagged guitars, as well as some typical bleeps and knob-twiddling. A Longcut love song couldn’t be anything but as deliciously raging as this.

In addition to the two new tracks, two remixes are included. The James Rutledge remix of “Idiot Check” takes a little mud out of the vocals without compromising any of the song’s original intensity. The Shadow Dancer remix of “You Got the Love” sounds a bit like Richard X, dark and sinister, yet geared towards crowded dancefloors. All together, it’s a great set of songs, and it’s cause for celebration that the band is picking up right where they left off.

The Longcut is truly a special band, and I look forward to hearing much more from them. While their debut was released by Deltasonic, the two parties have since parted ways. Here’s hoping some other label will prove themselves smarter than the average bear by snapping these lads up, and soon.

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