Long Time - Never Alone
Review by Shannon Shumaker
By chronicling the never ending search for one’s place in the world, Long Time’s new full-length album Never Alone offers comfort and understanding for those who don’t quite have it all figured out yet. The Boston-based power trio finds belonging in complex and beautiful soundscapes alongside incredibly unique vocals to create a sound rooted somewhere in between Coheed and Cambria and Manchester Orchestra.
Starting the album on a slower yet striking note is “River,” which quickly establishes the gorgeous soundscape that makes up Never Alone. “River” eases you comfortably into Long Time’s sound, doing a great job of gradually introducing each instrument before blending everything together for a timeless sound that is reminiscent of early 2000’s post hardcore. When the full band does come in, it can sound a little muddy in the mix, but the energy is there, and that’s what really matters on this track.
“River” leads into the more energetic “Spoken Ghost,” which is driven by distorted bass and aggressive vocals that tell a story of yearning for acceptance and validation. Lines like, “Live your live like no one’s watching/Well we are,” depict the push and pull between wanting to do what makes you happy and trying to conform with others, something that ties in directly with the album’s theme.
Blending a bit with “Spoken Ghost” is the third track, “Hostage,” which makes it a little hard to distinguish between the two songs. Thankfully, “Hostage” does shine later on with high energy, distorted guitar work. Contrasting with this is the more minimalistic and vocally driven, “Silence,” which showcases a different side of the band and gives you a breather following three unrelenting tracks. Like “Silence,” “Separation” also shines because of its slower tempo and gorgeous vocal work.
The only downside on the album is that the band’s energy seems to stay around the same level that is established early on. Technical guitars and hauntingly beautiful vocals easily bridge each track together, but makes it hard for any one song to have a big, stand-out moment. However, where Never Alone lacks in that type of diversity, it certainly makes up for in consistency and incredible lyrical content. The purpose of the album is to drive home a specific feeling and message, and it certainly does just that.
Bringing Never Alone to a strong close is “Chosen Disease,” which is actually one of the more dynamic songs on the album thanks to its very clean sound compared to the busy, technical vibe of the ones that come before it. That, coupled with the tone of the vocals makes for a very haunting sound while lyrically, this song depicts uncertainty for the future. Then comes the empowering “Windows,” which leaves you longing more and eagerly awaiting the next chapter from Long Time.
The meaningful songs on Never Alone are both timeless yet incredibly timely, chronicling struggles that everyone goes through, whether they realize it or not. Never Alone gives a voice to these thoughts, reminding listeners that it’s okay to be unsure or unsteady while also giving them a push along the path. Long Time have certainly established a place for themselves on this release, showing quite a bit of promise for whatever comes next.
LISTEN TO: "Spoken Ghost"
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