The Long Haul – Debtors (EP)

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Review by Jason Guest

According to their Facebook page, The Long Haul are “Hardcore/Progressive”. Yet ‘Lenders’, the impressive instrumental solo guitar piece that opens the EP, is the only aspect of this EP that tends towards “progressive”. The remaining four tracks are all-out hardcore, noisy, ferocious, and dynamic. After the false start of ‘Lenders’, the EP is intense throughout with breakneck tempos, angst-ridden vocals, contorted riffs, and furious drums. ‘Holes In The Ground, Bliss In The Skies’ and ‘Puppets And Wires’ are concentrated and relentless bursts of hardcore fury. At just over five minutes, ‘Blank Canvas’ is a painfully drawn out and laborious song that drags from one section into the next in an attempt to bear emotional weight. The title track thankfully restores the balance with a four-minute blast of aggression similar to tracks 2 and 3, the bass angrily roaring along with the drums as the guitar layers textured chords over the angry aesthetic.

The Long Haul are a bunch of adept musicians that know what they want to achieve and their execution is very good. The vocals, in being delivered with the same screamed/roared approach, become one-dimensional and dull the quieter moments of the EP, but it can’t be denied that it’s what the heavier songs require and does the job of fuelling the lyrics with aggressive assertion and sharpening their impact. The Long Haul should ditch the “progressive” bit and stick to what they’re good at: aggressive, abrasive, and antagonistic hardcore. A band to watch.

6 out of 10

Track Listing:

Lenders

Holes In The Ground, Bliss In The Skies

Puppets And Wires

Blank Canvas

Debtors