Surf-rock slackers Longboys are a special lot, providing a new wave of alternative rock sounds with a real sense of polish and vigor. In an Australian music scene that is filled to the brim with surf-rock groups that often opt for a much grainer, heavier and simplistic sound it’s incredibly refreshing to have an outfit that choose a more complex route. Punchy hooks, distorted psych-guitar rhythms and soothing vocals from the aptly dubbed Barry “Stingray” provide a sound that forces you to kick back and soak in all the goodness Longboys has to offer.
It’s clear on their latest effort, Over-board, that Longboys have well and truly developed their sound beyond what was previously created on their older singles and Eps. A much crisper and tighter sound is on display since last years EP, Scenes. This is evident within the opening moments of the title track and opener Over-board, where smooth drumlines and a woozy guitar hook reels you in immediately. There is a heavy sense of Mac DeMarco influence upon this track, which is not a bad thing at all. If anything is seems like an ode to the surf-rock hero, keeping things original and fresh whilst adding a bit of “Mac-daddy flair”.
The beauty of this EP lies in it’s tracks diversity. Songs like Not Tired and Ridin’ The Waves, feel much deeper than it’s surrounding tracks, the vocals of Stingray are heavier over the top of rolling drums, humming basslines and distorted guitars. Yet, due to the cool and clever lyrical work that evokes a sense of carefree happiness the laidback and overall calming nature of the EP is never lost. When parallel to tracks like Don’t Remind Me and Operatin you can sense a much more upbeat tone from chiming guitar loops and swooping backing vocals throughout choruses. Operatin is especially unique in what sounds like backing pianos that fit perfectly alongside the snappy drums and guitars.
Fixing Me Up closes the EP and whille it is slow to start, it definitely is worth the wait with an utterly stunning guitar solo crashing into the final act. Fixing Me Up does feel sonically different then the other 5 tracks, especially in it’s mixing where it doesn’t have the same level of production. Whether or not it was because it was originally released as a single is not a major issue because the use of instrumentation throughout the track is still brilliant.
Over-bored isn’t just another Australian up and comer EP. It is the sort of seminal Australian surf-rock sound that this country is proud of, with elements of The Sunnyboys and The Go-Betweens scattered throughout it’s intricate guitar progressions and continuous drumlines. It’s an insight into what Longboys are capable of, and an exciting tease at what the future holds for a talented young band. Watch this space.
Longboys are going to tour their new EP across Australia within the next month. Head to their Facebook page here, for all the latest dates and news regarding their touring schedule.