Monday, March 14, 2011

Longwalls make "Careers" a science, instead of art

The Longwalls - "Careers in Science"
Static Motor Recordings
-out now
3 / 5

Nothing against Boston's Kurt von Stetten, but his quartet's blend of Americana/ country comes off a bit tepid. The Longwalls hit a good stride in title opener to "Careers in Science," introducing us to the band's sophomore full-length with a simple, catchy whistled hook that erupts into full-on guitar and drums; it's got pep, step, and sway. But after this solid opening, the rest of "Careers in Science" leaves much to be desired. This is what we think they're lacking: the fifth element, the quintessence of music. You break down their individual elements - interesting song construction, some fun sonic elements, a good singer and lyrics - and, on paper, you've got a good band. Take it up a notch, and you get a great band. But what the Longwalls don't quite do is gel together; simply put, they perform music together, but we don't get a sense that they play that music together. The result is a collection of songs (well under 30 minutes) that don't pull in their audience, that aim but don't quite impress, perhaps because the musicians themselves aren't pulled into it. It's the joy of music that yields all those great guitar solos, all those great vocals and magic moments, and here, The Longwalls come close but don't hit it. Take a pass.

Listen to "Careers in Science."

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