THE LONG STRIDES - The Long Strides (Off the Hip)
The Scientists at their swampiest and Television at their most raw are two of my most favorite things and this unknown combo from Perth (aka The World's Most Isolated Capital City) invoke both in as many songs.
If that sounds a tall tale consider "Future Bound" , a Mini-Me (2min44sec) doppleganger of "Marquee Moon" in its Richard Lloyd guitar phrasings, in its murky glory, or "Do It Again" which recalls a metallic tramp through the "Swampland" with inlaid fuzz and dark vocals. A couple more ("Black Black Smoke" and the slide-drenched "Perfect Prescription") sound like they fell off a Surrealist's easel and the album contains more Salmon than a carton of cat food. This can't be a bad thing.
Originally a studio project for guitarist/laconic vocalist Echo and drummer Sonik, The Long Strides have added second guitarist Ross Wood and bassist Lea Hamnley, consolidated their material and now play live.
Sounds like they've listened to a lot of Velvets inbetween Spaceman 3 albums with style of fuzzy psychedlia that comes on like a cross between a foggier "Loaded" and a hazy Alex Chilton bender. Jesus and the Mary Chain are an obvious reference point too but The Long Strides don't seem to have their gazes fixed on their shoes as much as on their fuzz pedals.
If "Devil In Jesus Sandals" sounds like a backyard barbecue at Timothy Leary's place where somebody's mixed something synthetic in with the Smarties then "Little Lost Soul" turns the mood more organic with smoky uncredited female vocals and some killer guitar.
"Cyclone On The Loose" has a swelling, majestic authority that's missing off the new TSOOL album. In fact I'm playing The Long Strides at a ratio of 2:1 to "Communion", if that matters. Which is to say they're entirely different beasts but I like The Long Strides' songs better.
"I Guess" might be the best confessional by a fuck-up (lyrically speaking) since Neil's "Fucking Up" but there's nothing flawed in the stinging wah-wah fade-out other than it not being long enough. The scuzzy guitar in the closing "Lean To Love" is nearly as great.
If the thought of listening to a psych album scares you because it recalls interminably long passages of noodling and backward-masked guitar, fear not. These tunes are short and straight to the point with 11 songs clockming in at just over half-an-hour.
There's a lot of stuff going on and it draws on sitar, keyboard washes, mellotron, acoustic guitar and some glorious electrified six-string.
You won't be disappointed. - The Barman
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