LONG SLOW DANCE OUT TODAY
Story by Kate Davies
Considered one of the primary contributors to San Francisco’s “new garage rock” scene, The Fresh & Onlys have been praised as a group whose sound encompasses both a catchy and original quality. Formed in 2008 by Tim Cohen of Black Fiction and bassist Shayde Sartin, they were subsequently joined by Kyle Gibson and Wymond Miles to complete the foursome. Having toured extensively throughout Europe and North America, being compared to The Smiths and The Cure, and releasing three full-length albums in three years, they are now set to put out their fourth full-length LP, entitled Long Slow Dance.
Set to hit record stores today, LSD (as the band sometimes refers to it) is an aptly-named and psychedelic, down-tempo record. The two most outstanding tracks, “Executioner’s Song” and “Euphoria”, contain the gritty, texturized, and lo-fi sound that The Fresh & Onlys are known for. Listen to these two on their own, and the album markets itself as a glorious successor to their reverb-infused 2010 record Play It Strange. However, the rest of the tracks prove to be a disappointment, seeming to drag rather than float and creating a musical landscape one may fall asleep to as a result of boredom rather than bliss. Title track “Long Slow Dance” begins and ends with no agenda, “Foolish Person” is messy and forgettable, “20 Days and 20 Nights” is predictable and unoriginal, and “Fire Alarm” is simply boring.
Despite these obvious setbacks, “Executioner’s Song” displays The Fresh & Onlys at their melodramatic best, leading the listener into a dreamlike state which is highly reminiscent of the Stone Temple Pilot’s hit “Sour Girl. “Euphoria” is poles apart from the previous track, but it successfully blends all of the necessary elements required for a no holds barred rock track that still manages to keep its hippy-trippy persona intact through its usage of Western guitars and unique production.
Overall, the album is largely disappointing for such a well-established and influential group, lacking the true grit and epic viscerality contained in their fabulous hit “Waterfall” (off of Play It Strange). Although we can see glimpses of their greatness in two of the album’s tracks, it is simply not enough to make us want this long, slow dance to last forever.
The Fresh & Onlys are currently on tour in the US throughout September, which includes one date in Vancouver. Check out the full album stream of Long Slow Dance.