The Longcut – Open Hearts
The Longcut – Open Hearts
Returning to the fray as fast, furious and frenetic as ever, The Longcut are back with both fists flying. Following their acclaimed debut album A Call And Response, the Manchester-based trio are set to release the follow-up, Open Hearts, on new label Melodic.
There’s been a shift to grass roots principals for this album: it was recorded in the band’s Salford rehearsal room (with some vocals done at home in the shower, for that cavernous, echoing effect). Produced predominantly by friend-of-the-band and Nine Black Alps guitarist David Jones with the addition of James Rutledge and Jimmy Robertson on the track Repeated, who brought “a fucked up pop sensibility.” Not having to worry about time and money constraints, the band were free to experiment – and managed to blow up three guitar amps and two tape echo units in the process.
For a group whose reputation was built on blistering live shows, they set out to make an album that reflected the raw energy of their performances – and succeeded. This is the rough-edged, vital, visceral sound of a band at the peak of their powers. It’s still undeniably The Longcut – Stuart’s shamanic howls, Jon’s crunching bass and Lee’s hypnotic guitar are all in place – but it’s fresher, trimmer and more focused than ever before. Lyrically, it’s upbeat, happier, lovestruck even, but with that weighty sonic sucker-punch behind it to counter-balance the sugar.
The title, Open Hearts, refers to a shift in the band’s focus, bringing emotion into the often bleak landscape of post-rock. “The first album’s lyrics were defined by a lot of short, very intense relationships I was having at the time,” says singer / drummer Stuart. “When I found myself in a much happier relationship as we started to write the new album, I wanted to capture the excitement and the highs that came with that. Honesty and sincerity in what I’m singing is very important to me.”
The release of Open Hearts follows a period of change for the band, whose original label, Deltasonic, was cut adrift from Sony after their first album. Throughout the interim period, the trio’s passion for music grew, and they have embraced the chance to make their own album in their own way.
“When all you’re doing is writing and practicing and dealing with major labels, it can get a little claustrophobic. Now, it feels like the band is the release, and making music feels like it did when we first started, like an escape, something we can always look forward to,” they say. “The biggest difference between recording this album and the last is probably laughter –there’s a lot more laughter this time.”