Long Distance Calling - Long Distance Calling
Superball Music
Post Rock/Metal
7 songs (56:05)
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Jaime
When the first thing you hear on an album reminds you of Dub Trio then you know you're in fro something rather excellent. Into The Black Wide Open's intro could have been lifted straight out of Dub Trio's back catalogue with its bouncing bass, heavily delayed drums and samples before the song properly kicks in. While there's a a massive post rock/metal vibe going on here it's not the usual gentle push towards a massive crecendo at the end with Long Distance Calling going rather all out instead, with a little bluesy guitar lead nearer the middle of the track that slides across the syncopated rhythm that the rest of the band manage to hold down and it persists throught the rest of the track, even with the little synth parts that show up. The subtle nuances in the bass (which is slightly lower in the mix than one would have expected for this sort of music) and drums add that extra layer of interest. The Figrin D'an Boogie is, as you may have guessed, a little Irish sounding to the point that it reminded me of Over The Hills And Far Away at times. At least to start with anyway, as that bluesy flavour manages to pop up further down the line but the track retains that all important groove throughout with no small thanks going towards the bass to keep everything flowing. The riffs are excellent too but play a bit more of a supporting role to the bass while the lead guitars managed to soar above everything else but remain fairly well grounded and simple. The restraint is well appreciated as everything else in the background just has so many extra layers to it that your attention'll be switching between what's all going on.

Thinks turn into more familiar sounding post rock territory with Invisible Giants which has a repeated clean guitar looping behind the rest of the band. The bluesy influence isn't as prominant here and to be honest it's not a bad thing as it shows that the band can move beyond it. There's a very proggy harmonised guitar section about 3 minutes in that manages soften the track a little surprisingly. There's a sudden tempo shift that just happens without warning that threw me off a little. There was no build up to it at all and it seemed a little out of place, but the slower section of the song is quite nice with an good but quite familiar solo nearer the end. The band seem to have a favourite little lead riff... Nevertheless, it transitions into Timebends, a rather more laid back track where the keyboards take a bit more of a lead role with Rhodes pianos chiming in, around and over the top of a fairly laid back, cool jazz section before that syncopated bluesy feel reappears to lead into a slightly less laid back jazz section with slap bass plusing behind some rather dissonant harmonies from the guitars. The groove is fantastic here, without question and the use of an E-bow both in this section and the slightly less frantic part afterwards is a nice little touch. The spacey, drawn out outro with the tribal sounding drums is the cherry on top of the cake and rounds off everything rather nicely.

Arecibo starts of sounding like something from your usual American hard rock bands (you know, that riff) and I couldn't really shake that dirty feeling off even once they broke off from it. The guitarsolo was sonically quite interesting and the little synth part at least moved away from the standard pad sounds that cropped up in previous songs. But things get a little more interesting about 3 and a half minutes in when a wall of noise smacks you in the face for a bit before that hard rock riff jumps back into the ring. I just could really get into this track as such, not that there was anything wrong with it. It just seemed a tad overdone. Middleville on the other hand pulls out an acoustic guitar part that'd make Akercocke happy even if it's over the top of a trance synth line. A very middle eastern feel is present here, and vocals, which came as a surprise. And they're uhmm... not all that great. The song would have been better without them to be quite honest as everything else is sonically far more interesting. The drums are frantic with lots of little ghost notes creeping in and the synth and guitar parts manage to create a wonderfully diverse palette of sound that keeps you hooked despite the slightly out of place vocals. Finally we come to Beyond The Void which begins all atmospheric and would be typically post rock were it not for it being rather grim and foreboding. It goes gradually cheer up and gently glides forwards so that the band can enter but keeps things fairly passive sounding, yep they're heading for that build up. They manage to avoid sounding like every other band out there that do this at least with elements from every other track showing face, from the dub drums to the Irish inspired solo and the final moments that have a little hint of Metallica's Orion in there before finally fading out into more noise.

I'm a little torn with this one. There are a lot of good things going on that are spoilt by small issue. I have no idea why they had vocals on what was an otherwise fantastic track, and the repetition and over uses of that lead part did grate after a bit. I loved the blues influences however, and the fact that Long Distance Calling have their own distinct sound within the vast oceans of this genre is a godsend when every other band can be almost interchangeable. Aside from the few minor blip it's a solid album.
Killing Songs :
Into The Black Wide Open, The Figrin D'an Boogie, Timebends, Middleville (if they release an instrumental version of it anyway), Beyond The Void
Jaime quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Long Distance Calling that we have reviewed:
Long Distance Calling - Satellite Bay reviewed by Alex and quoted 86 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:30 am
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