Long Distance Calling – Long Distance Calling

While a self-titled album may imply that this is a debut work, heavy post-rock group Long Distance Calling have already released two other albums prior to this. A country whose progressive rock scene has typically been driven by hard-edged experimentation, Germany isn’t the first place I would inquire about finding a new post-rock band to listen to, but make no mistake that Long Distance Calling keeps the Teutonic penchant for heaviness close at heart. While this band’s brand of self-proclaimed ‘instrumental rock’ is nothing to shock the system and create a legion of copycats as most true innovators have in the past, the band gives a very good, if somewhat basic first impression with their self-titled album, and go to show that while they may not be anything new for post-rock, the band certainly knows how to play.

Best described by the way I hear them as a mix of Ireland’s post-rock premiers God Is An Astronaut, with the heaviness and soundscapings of latter-era Porcupine Tree, Long Distance Calling immediately finds themselves a niche in the progressive rock community. While anyone who has heard much post-rock before can get a pretty good idea of the ebb- and-flow dynamic that is constantly at play here in terms of the songwriting, there is a fairly greater emphasis on the actually songwriting here than on many of the drawn-out compositions the genre tends to foster. With there is a generous use of repetition amongst many of the more important ideas in each song, the songs do feel as if they could have easily incorporated vocals, which certainly can’t be said too much post-rock. Coincidentally, Long Distance Calling opts to check out this possibility in one song here.

The song ‘Middleville’ is quite typical for the album in its use of instrumentation, but is made very distinct for the fact that it is the only song that uses a singer. When the vocals first come on, the listener is made somewhat surprised, having been fairly familiarized with the instrumental format that late into the album. Unfortunately, while the vocals do fit into the track, I personally don’t care for the way the voice of singer John Bush sounds, as if his singing belongs much more in the context of a grunge song than an atmospheric rock composition.

Highlights for me would include the pretty typical (yet undeniably powerful) post-rock track ‘Inivisible Giants’ and the closer ‘Beyond The Void’. Long Distance Calling’s latest album does demand a couple of listens to exert its power, much like any other music worth its salt. But while this personal style does not completely fit my tastes, the band does show promise for harder-edged post-rock bands to come in the future.

Tracklist:

1. Into The Black Wide Open (8:32)
2. The Figrin D’an Boogie (6:08)
3. Invisible Giants (7:25)
4. Timebends (7:57)
5. Arecibo (Long Distance Calling) (5:53)
6. Middleville (8:30)
7. Beyond The Void (11:40)

Line-up:

* David Jordan – guitars
* Florian F?ntmann – guitars
* Jan Hoffmann – bass
* Janosch Rathmer – drums
* Reimut Van Bonn – electronics and sound

Links:

http://www.longdistancecalling.de/

%d bloggers like this: