Thrash Hits

January 30th, 2012

EP: The Long Haul – Debtors

The Long Haul 2012 promo photo Thrash Hits

The Long Haul
Debtors
Tangled Talk
06 February 2012

by Alex Andrews

For those who’ve waited patiently as #UKSWELL has cluttered their Twitter feed and cropped up on ironic t-shirt designs – biding their time until the day comes when there’s a British band genuinely worth getting excited about, The Long Haul may well be the answer you’ve been looking for.

The Long Haul Debtors EP cover artwork packshot 400px Thrash Hits

Spearheading the tongue-in-cheek movement/hashtag/slogan/catch-it-all term that’s never really looked much further beyond the rosters of Holy Roar and Tangled Talk, the Southampton four-piece made the decision last year to solider on after the departure of frontman Curtis Lightbown-Smith. With Harry Fanshawe now manning the mic, The Long Haul are ready to unveil a real beast of a record.

Wrapped up in five tracks, the band manage to simultaneously capture the rumbling, relentless sprit of Rollins-era Black Flag (more of that, please), the technical heaviness of Converge (though Fanshawe is more Frank Carter than J. Bannon) and a forward-thinking inventiveness to keep you well on your toes.

On Debtors, The Long Haul demonstrate not only an enviable technical ability but a staggering abundance of ideas. Powered by a thunderous rhythm section, not once do they fall back into a generic chug part. Instead they plough on with determination; regular breaking things down, with the guitars spiralling off into fresh and exciting territory. On the five minute ‘Blank Canvas’, the band kills the pace and make their way through a deviously melodic, slow burning crawl, with Fanshawe venting his paranoia through lines such as: “If they don’t come near me, I won’t approach them / There are things that happen here and nobody knows them.”

Whether The Long Haul can make the transition to a full-length remains to be seen. But as things stand, this EP remains a fantastic example of how heavy hardcore can be made interesting again.

4.5/6

Sounds Like: Converge, Kerouac, Botch
Standout Tracks: Blank Canvas, Puppets and Wires, Debtors

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