Passionate, anthemic, and with a life honesty the debut album from UK rock band The Longsands is a mesmeric and deeply impressive release. Meet Me In Spanish City from a solid initial approval eventually within a few more plays took a slow but deep hold of the heart to emerge as one of the more impressive and essential albums to come out this year. It is an eleven track slice of realism in a musical world swarming with heartless and photoshop blended presences. The Longsands offer a striking and impassioned blend of rock, pop, and indie sounds brought through an open window of truth and thought to realise the everyday trials and lives of us all.
The Newcastle quintet have built a strong following in the North of England and made inroads across the UK with their unforgettable sounds and live shows drawing the attention of the likes of Steve White (The Style Council) and Bruce Foxton of The Jam, who The Longsands supported on a winter tour, amongst an ever growing fan base. Meet Me In Spanish City is destined to be the trigger igniting a nationwide affection as its addictive body and irrepressible soul is discovered.
There is a great humour to the band and their work which fully endears and was in great evidence with a recently started viral internet campaign called The Longsands Challenges which saw the band challenging sports stars to games such as a conker fight with Mike Tyson and darts with Ricky Hatton. Listening to the album one can see the tongue in cheek attitude of the band though it never detracts from the cutting and direct lyrics and ideas within songs.
The album opens with the instantly compulsive Worlds Collide. The song loiters in the ear at the start with the vocals of Trevor Cox stealing the attention from the undemanding sounds around him. Slowly essences add to and wrap around his excellent vocals in the form of the additional pleasing voice of David Stanyer who also alongside fellow guitarist Ian Barnes explores the track with fine and concise play. The song does not ignite the touch papers but is a strong and impossible to resist as an entry to the album.
The mighty and defiant Bully takes over next and instantly levels rise with its immense presence. The bass of Gary Ormston paces the song with a heavy shadowed essence to spine the song alongside drummer Paul Stephenson who offers up a fighting heart to the song. With vocal harmonies enflaming the passions within a weave of stirring guitar invention the song incites a deep connection of thought and pleasure.
Every track has an anthemic pull and none so more so then Little Britain, a song which raises a fire within and again defiance in its stand. The song took a while to fully grab but turned into one of the most impressive on the album, its persuasion impossible to deny. The following Street And Pavements is equally as powerful and contagious with a sprawling emotion and open declaration. With more than a spice of The Jam to it, the song is a melodically glowing guitar gem. Vocally it is a feverish joy involving all concerned whilst musically the song contrasts and blends its warm infectious imagination to the striking lyrical address.
First single from the album Shut Your Mouth which was released the first week of the month, reminds of eighties band The Mighty Lemondrops with its tumbling rhythms and scorched melodic and harmonic ingenuity. It is another irresistible piece of songwriting and musical invention marking the band as one of the most captivating and outstanding new bands.
There is not a weakness on the album with the likes of University Of Life with its sure swagger, the epic heart spawn Let Love Rain On You, and the blues rocker The Chance, all fanning the flames of delight as much as those earlier mentioned and other to be discovered.
Closing on the stunning emotive Spirals the album leaves one enthralled and glowing from the generous wealth of creativity and inspiring sounds. Meet Me In Spanish City and The Longsands have the ability and skill to turn great songs into passions and passages from a life we all know. They make it fun though keeping a light burning within shadows but most of all they feed the heart with real and immensely gratifying songs.