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The Long Blondes - Someone to Drive You Home

The Long Blondes

Review by Richard Goodwin

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

THE Long Blondes have been around for a while, releasing a handful of quality singles over the last 12 months or so and have rightfully caused a bit of a stir. Quite why the album has taken this long to come out is a bit of a mystery, but is it worth the wait?

The answer is a resounding yes. Guitars fizz, disco beats provide an infectious groove and Kate Jackson’s vocals flit from soft sensuality to menace in a way not heard since Toni Halliday’s work with Curve.

If slightly arty (almost edgy) verses punctuated with infectious choruses are your thing then this album will not disappoint. Almost every song on the record could be a single and there’s barely a weak moment among the 12 tracks offered up here.

Lyrically, the album is aimed squarely at the outsider. Tales of insecurity (In The Company Of Women), jealousy (You Could Have Both), and lust (the aptly titled Lust In The Movies) populate this record.

The majority of the lyrics are penned by male guitarist Dorian Cox and sung with venom and passion by Jackson. This is where The Long Blondes trump card is played. Sung by a male vocalist, these lyrics just wouldn’t have the same punch as they do when delivered by Jackson.

Jackson is a rare thing in indie rock music these days – a strong female character with genuine star quality and her personality shines through on this record.

She appears to be orchestrating a call to arms, even ordering teenage girls to dump their boyfriends on Once And Never Again – “your only 19 for God’s sake – you don’t need a boyfriend” – and demanding more from her own partner on Weekend Without Makeup – “I need you to make a little more effort. I just want what’s due to me”.

Jackson’s spiky and sexy delivery recalls Debbie Harry in her pomp and the spectre of Blondie does rear its head on more than one occasion, not least on the standout disco influenced Giddy Stratospheres.

There’s also a touch of Chrissie Hynde in her delivery so it’s no surprise that this album does appear to be floating around the ’80s for most of its running time.

In this instance, however, it’s is no bad thing as nothing can take away from the sheer pop joy of this record.

The Long Blondes have proved that Sheffield is the new Manchester and along with the Arctic Monkey’s they may well rule the indie scene for the next few years. Most of the tracks will feature at indie discos for years to come.

Track listing:

  1. Lust In The Movies
  2. Once And Never Again
  3. Only Lovers Left Alive
  4. Giddy Stratospheres
  5. In The Company Of Women
  6. Heaven Help The New Girl
  7. Separated By Motorways
  8. You Could Have Birth
  9. Swallow Tattoo
  10. Weekend Without Makeup
  11. Madame Ray
  12. Knife For The Girls