Having formed at Manchester University in 2002, The Longcut’s nascent career was given an almighty jolt when their vocalist departed. After originally deciding to focus on instrumental music they then took the brave step of appointing drummer Stuart Ogilvie as their new mouthpiece. Although not the most versatile of leaders, it turned out to be an inspired move of sorts. After the promise of debut ‘A Call And A Response’, comes the belated follow-up.
The first song ‘Out At The Roots’ epitomises their greatness. Introduced by angry guitars and thunderous rhythms, we are then assaulted by Ogilvie’s foghorn and then something rather wonderful happens as an elegiac piano melody appears from nowhere; adding a sense of beauty whilst all around is mayhem. ‘Something Inside’ is similary stirring and what it lacks in tunefulness it more than makes up for with sheer conviction.
Although many of their songs could be described as post-rock, their songs are given further energy by techno beats; a technique which works particularly well on ‘Evil Dance’ and the mesmerising title track. It’s a pity they can’t maintain the form though as the hypnotic energy from the beginning of the record sounds tired by its conclusion. With less dependence on Ogilvie’s voice too, the core of their music is weakened, signified by the solid but rather generic post-rock of ‘Mary Bloody Sunshine’.
So ‘Open Hearts’ is much like Redjetson’s second album. An intermittently great record driven by a passionate frontman, largely bereft of melody but still able to stir the emotions. However, the danceable element to their songs indicates they have a wider appeal and they do make one hell of a racket.
Six.By Seven, Redjetson