Long Story Short – What A Scene
December 21, 2010
Recently I was approached by Long Story Short and asked if I wanted to review their upcoming debut album “What A Scene”. Naturally I responded with a certain yes. I’m always up to listen to new music and see what it has to offer.
Long Story Short is Daniel Luka and Nicky James. And while listening to the album I got the impression that these two complement each other very well. The songs have a good drive and often recognizable hooks and riffs that make the songs accessible for the general audience.
“What A Scene” kicks off with a slightly cynical powerpop song (Fall Awake). Its energy and attitude certainly set the mood for the album. The lead single Caved In feeds off that energy and carries on in a similar fashion. The combination of these two songs at the start of the album immediately gets the listeners attention.
Something that I found remarkable is the growth that Luka shows as a vocalist. I’ve known him for some time and heard some recordings of him doing covers and originals, on which he usually did a decent job, but the level and consistency he shows on this album is ten steps higher.
Especially combined with the keys provided by James and their compatibility as musicians they find a way to create music that sounds familiar and fresh at the same time. The songs are often catchy and always relatable. In essence “What A Scene” is a rock album, but Long Story Short still manages to show they can vary within the genre. There are some uptempo rock and powerpop songs like the first two tracks and the album highlight The Truth Hurts, which shows these guys have some excellent songwriting skills. But there are also quieter and sentimental songs like the beautiful What Mattered Most, the gentle Forever and album closer Eternal Smile.
The overall sound is very organic and you can hear different influences in the music, ranging from different genres and eras, which is probably why the songs have a recognizable and familiar sound to them. But because Long Story Short manages to keep the songs close to themselves and execute the songs convincingly it sounds fresh and new. With catchy songs and relatable lyrics many of the songs show radio and tv potential and I wouldn’t be surprised if the band chooses to work that angle.
For a debut, this is a more than solid effort. Highlights are Fall Awake, The Truth Hurts, What Mattered Most and Eternal Smile. Especially when I look at the songwriting aspect, these songs stick out. But I would encourage you to listen to the album all the way through as it has a very natural progression and while there are some little things I could point out here and there, Long Story Short shows a consistent quality throughout the whole release. Seeing where this band comes from and what they managed to accomplish in a relatively short period of time is remarkable and leads me to believe that “What A Scene” is only the tip of the iceberg. Long Story Short is a band that should not slip through the cracks. They’re too promising for that.