Enough to suggest they might yet be a force to be reckoned with.
Will Dean 2009-10-01
Everything, according to Lauryn Hill among others, is everything. That's a mantra that Manchester-based trio The Longcut seem to abide by, worrying not about long-player manners by having a noisy crack at every idea they can rush into their heads.
Open Hearts is only the band's second album since 2006's well-received, but poor selling debut A Call and Response. Since then they've parted company with former label, Alan Wills' Liverpool-based Deltasonic, and teamed up with Manchester imprint Melodic as well as recording their second effort with old pal David Jones from Nine Black Alps helming the production.
Jones has done a fair old job, as Open Hearts bounces between genres like a gnat in the Later... studios. There's baggy dance on Repeated, indie-rock that nods to fellow Mancs The Courteeners on the shoegazey Tell You So, and there's Evil Dance which, with its spacey bassline and clapping intro, is a dead ringer for the stadium filling astro-rock of Muse's Time Is Running Out. Not two deliberate influences, one imagines.
This is an amorphous beast alright, but what that says is that Stuart Ogilvie, Lee Gale and Jon Fearon have got a tonne of ideas. While that's ostensibly a good thing, the problem generated is that, rather than taking a few ideas and making them brilliant, the trio have taken lots of bits of everything and, a few tracks aside, made them just alright.
But it's hard to hold an abundance of ideas against them – you just feel that with a bit more editing, and perhaps a more experienced head in the studio, some of the bolder ideas here could have been refined enough to prevent the moments of inspiration getting lost. Take the frantically lo-fi opener Out at the Roots as an example, and the sea-swept beauty of closer The Last Ones Here (which goes from sounding like the lush wash inside a conch to a full-on hardcore anthem) – both are rather overpowered by the seven-minute drone of Mary Bloody Sunshine.
It's not a breakout record by any stretch of the imagination – nor, one presumes, is it meant to be – but, still, there's enough to suggest that The Longcut might yet be a force to be reckoned with.