The Long Blondes – Singles

December 10, 2008

longblondessinglesSleater Kinney, the Delgados, Arab Strap and now the Long Blondes: All recent favorite bands of mine, all of them now broken up. It’s enough to drive a music fan to stop having favorite bands, or at least declaring them publicly. The Long Blondes (Kate Jackson, Dorian Cox, Reenie Hollis, Emma Chaplin and Screech Louder) combined a punk and New Wave sensibility with sometimes sardonically witty, sometimes despairing lyrics. They released two excellent albums before they broke up in October of this year after guitarist and songwriter Dorian Cox suffered a stroke. (Cox is currently undergoing therapy and hopes to eventually be able to play guitar again.) Singles collects the music the Long Blondes released before their debut album in 2006, and there’s not a dud to be heard among the 13 tracks collected here. The digital release gets major demerits for the muddy, distorted versions of “New Idols” and “Long Blonde,” which are otherwise terrific songs. Hopefully, this will be corrected in the near future. The rest of the album sounds great, however, and even features an alternate version of “Separated By Motorways.” I would say Singles is an essential collection for Long Blondes fans while making a pretty decent introduction for newcomers to one of this decade’s most memorable British bands. Standout cuts: “Autonomy Boy,” “Giddy Stratospheres,” “Appropriation (By Any Other Name)” and “Peterborough.”


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