Building on what we've heard from Longwave before--a combination of spacey guitar work atop visceral and sometimes angular rhythms, There's A Fire is more dynamic than anything previously recorded by Longwave. From the sustained explosion that is 'We're Not Gonna Crack', to the orchestral and spooky 'Underworld' and 'Down In Here', Longwave explores a wider sonic landscape here than ever before. The anthemic but inside-out title track, 'There's a Fire', also introduces some of singer/guitarist Steve Schiltz's most cinematic lyrical work, a continuous spooky and dreamlike imagery sustained throughout the album. There's A Fire is a truly cohesive work in which you hear a band making a musical statement from an expanding musical palate, including the contributions of new multi instrumentalist Jeff Sheinkopf (keyboards, guitar, vocals), the most recent addition to the ranks. Red Ink. 2005.
Longwave's third full-length finds the Brooklyn quintet bypassing what might have been an irrepressible urge for a lot of edgy bands: Instead of cribbing from former buzzband tourmates the Strokes, the Vines and the Mooney Suzuki
, frontman Steve Schiltz sticks doggedly with what he knows. For fans of There's a Fire,
that means another opportunity to get submerged in Brit-leaning space-pop that switches rhythmic gears with pleasing regularity from dreamy to driving. Where "Tell Me I'm Wrong" is straight-up pop, whoa-oh chorus and hand-clap percussive bit included, "We're Not Gonna Crack" sneaks up behind it with thrashing guitars and a butchered, diabolical lyric. Similarly, "The Flood" finds Schiltz demoing Bowie disciple-dom with great panache, but two tracks later he's resurrecting the Cure with equal flair. None of this is overheated--the band's hipster insouciance settles as winningly into the quirky indie pop of "Next Plateau" as the guitar rant of the hidden closing track--but the shifts in tempo and temperament call for a controlled listening environment. Where it counts, you'll want to crank it. -Tammy La Gorce