The Long Haul

Debtors EP

Written by: AP on 06/02/2012 17:04:33

With little else to their name than a reputation as a ferocious live act, as well as the odd few split EPs with other practitioners of the chaotic British variant of hardcore, "Debtors" is as much a statement of intent as it is a chance for The Long Haul to show their teeth once again.

Contained within its 17 minutes or so of runtime is the now well worn blend of lazy Southern haze and eruptions of d-beat, odd riff arrangements and dissonance; not as frenzied as the Chariot, but certainly entertaining a similar style of thought. In this respect, a song like "Holes in the Ground, Bliss in the Skies" is perhaps best thought of as the Georgian bruisers at their most coherent: the vocal style is extremely similar to that of Josh Scogin, but the music follows a far stricter hardcore template. Other bands, such as Bastions and Kerouac, explore similar musical territory of course, but "Debtors" is by no means a symptom of idolatry or plagiarism.

On the contrary: The Long Haul seem to have been inspired to a large extent by their collaboration and touring with Kerouac last year, to create a similarly suffocating sound on "Puppets and Wires" and "Blank Canvas", but with a brighter heart. Indeed, although the atmosphere here cannot, by a long stretch, be called pleasant or optimistic, there is a certain clarity in the band's mauling that extends beyond mere despair. It is not the most original of approaches, in that the EP contains multiple moments in which The Long Haul sound almost identical with the Chariot, but it does the job all the same.

That job being laying the groundwork for what must surely be an intense show. For when placed in a wider context, music like this is unlikely to find itself glorified in magazines or highlighted on the A&R rosters of a record label. It is, however, composed with the kind of madness that will see The Long Haul praised for their all-annihilating small stage festival sets and intimate club shows in the live review sections of said magazines and by a very dedicated cluster of diehard fans screaming every lyric back at the band.

Download: Holes in the Ground, Bliss in the Skies; Puppets and Wires; Blank Canvas
For the fans of: Bastions, The Chariot, Kerouac
Listen: Facebook

Release date 06.02.2012
Tangled Talk Records

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