Kerouac/The Long Haul
Split


4.0
excellent

Review

by Fugue USER (58 Reviews)
February 23rd, 2011 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The future’s bright…

In August of last year, when Kerouac burst onto the hardcore scene with their debut EP Cold And Distant, Not Loving the world stood up to take notice. With their chaotic fusion of raw intensity and melodic disparities the band displayed heaps of raw ability and in 17 minutes flaunted a maturity other bands can only hope to achieve in a lifetime. Before embarking on a fully fledged long play, Kerouac are releasing a series of split EP’s, the first of which with fellow label-mates and Southampton based hardcore act The Long Haul. Split albums are notoriously inconsistent and often lead to a clear bias towards one act but throughout this split the two acts blend together almost seamlessly to create a surprisingly complete experience.

The record begins with a riff. It’s nothing special to begin with, but three seconds down the line, when Curtis Lightbown-Smith’s raw growl kicks the living *** out of you, a realisation dawns. It’s not apprehension, nor trepidation; it’s far too late for that, but when that primal surge of emotion roars through your veins you know this has the makings of something special. And so begins The Long Haul’s first officially recorded outing – ten minutes of relentless balls-to-the-wall borderline metalcore that will leave even the most resolute listeners breathless and hungry for more. The blueprint itself is fairly simplistic in construction; powerful vocals backed up with technically sound guitar work and brutally fast drum beats (think a less heady version of Botch) but perforated with understated artistic variances. These fluctuations, as illustrated in Dead Soul/Endless Drag, prevent the monotony of repetition and masks the minor flaws into insignificance. Well-timed breakdowns effortlessly shift the tempo down a notch and guest vocalist Lizzy Maries calms proceedings somewhat; her ethereal voice presenting an aura of serenity compared to the frenetic music it accentuates.

The expanse of musical horizons continues on Kerouac’s half of the split. Building on what they accomplished with their debut EP, the dense assortment of chaotic malevolence and astutely layered post-metal remains but has developed considerably in such a short time. Progress, through newly dynamic song structures alongside a distinctly improved vocal performance from Thom Denson lead to the bands best performance thus-far; the colossal Porcelain oozes with a graceful panache before exploding into an acerbic crescendo, all bitter vocals and sharply distorted guitar. Conversely, I Owe Some People The World But I Owe you *** is a full on assault of the senses, taking the belligerent fury of their debut and expanding it into an all-encompassing hybrid. Instruments bleed into one another; guitar, bass and drums incoherently converge to form an anarchistic whole, spitting and snarling in blissful fury.

By itself this split EP is as interesting in structure as it is in quality, for as similar as the two bands are to each other; the differences between them complement each other perfectly giving the record a more rounded feel than any individual venture. On the other hand, the lack of consistency this brings can often taint the continuity somewhat, creating a disparity in the musical flow. With this in mind, the maturity and technical proficiency shown by both acts is astounding and while Kerouac remains the more refined of the two acts, there are noticeable signs that The Long Haul can all but match their Southern English neighbours. It’s too early to predict the long term effects that this split EP will have on either bands’ future but what it does show is that the future for both acts is bright and underlines Southern England as one of the premiere districts for underground hardcore.

Overall 4.0 Excellent



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Fugue
February 23rd 2011


7353 Comments


If anyone can come up with a more inventive summary, do share.

Kris.
February 23rd 2011


12345 Comments


i want this SO MUCH

Fugue
February 23rd 2011


7353 Comments


You can preorder for like £4/£7 depending on format, it comes with an instant download too...

wyankeif1337
February 23rd 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

motherfucker, i wanted to review this

one little thing, the last "Overall 4.0 Excellent" thing is really unnecessary, but good review

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2011


23828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh man I can't wait to hear this. Cold And Distant, Not Loving was in my top 5 last year.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2011


7291 Comments


Solid review Ross; pos for you =)

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

DiceMan
February 24th 2011


7068 Comments


In August of last year, when Kerouac burst onto the hardcore scene with their debut EP Cold And Distant, Not Loving the world stood up to take notice.


ORLY?

cvlts
February 24th 2011


8956 Comments


really wasn't diggin this. oh well.

review is a bit melodramatic.

Gyromania
February 24th 2011


15717 Comments


Great review, Ross! I like what you did with this. Pos.

Sounds like this is right up my alley, so I'll probably obtain it at some point.

Adabelle
February 24th 2011


4257 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome, checking this out right now..

DinoX
February 24th 2011


3582 Comments


I really liked Cold and Distant Not Loving so I'll have to check this out.

Hep Kat
February 24th 2011


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this is pretty good. the long haul side actually might even be a smidge better, but i'm looking forward to their next split in a couple months and even more forward to the debut LP


also i'm one of 250 people getting this on vinyl first, last, and only pressing mothafuckers

Fugue
February 24th 2011


7353 Comments


Yeah the review is a little over-the-top and flamboyant, and i definitely used a little bit of exaggeration in places, but that is sorta what I was going for. Either way it's something a little different and I probably won't be writing in a similar style again. Most important thing is that people know this exists and want to hear it so there better be some more ratings in a few weeks time y'all.

Skimaskcheck
February 24th 2011


2360 Comments


yayyy southampton scene
friends with the drummer in The Long Haul, he's an incredible musician.

still need to pick this split up though, sounds predictably awesome. nice writing man!

djunior
February 24th 2011


762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cant wait to hear this. cant afford the pre-order at the moment. fuuuckkk

Digging: Vanessa Rossetto - Whole Stories

LiveUnsigned
February 28th 2011


2 Comments


Two awesome bands, can't wait to hear this. And Ross, don't let anyone put you off praising up something you love in a review: I do it all the time!
http://www.liveunsigned.com/Kerouac/
http://www.liveunsigned.com/The_Long_Haul/

RCKilm
February 28th 2011


232 Comments


^ you stop it.

never heard of long haul but still stoked. C&D was fucking beast.

Inveigh
February 28th 2011


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

loved C&D last year, easily a top 5 hardcore album of 2010 for me

will be getting this

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2011


23828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

*easily a top 1 hardcore album of 2010 for me

fix'd it for you Inveigh

Inveigh
February 28th 2011


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha I liked More Than Life and Dangers more (not counting Kvelertak as hardcore, they're metalcore to me)

Black Breath was really good too, but C&D tops that one imo



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