Long Distance Calling deliver a progressive, post-rock masterpiece on their seventh album, as they ask How Do We Want To Live?
Released: 26th June 2020
Label: Inside Out Music
Formats: CD / Mediabook / LP / Ltd. LP Boxset / Digital
Long Distance Calling is made up of David Jordan and Florian Füntmann on guitar, Janosch Rathmer on drums and Jan Hoffmann on bass. Recently nominated for a prestigious Deutschen Musikautorenpreis award in ‘Composition Metal,’ recognising their artistic achievements, they now release their seventh album How Do We Want To Live? One that builds on a thematic approach.
The progressive rock concept album has a long history and like all interesting ideas has been used incessantly. Long Distance Calling’s new album, however, grabs the attention immediately and holds on after continuous playbacks. Intriguingly, a close analysis of the lyrics highlights a different listening experience every time round and the theories and ideas also have your mind wavering.
On the two opening tracks, man’s natural curiosity is explored, but the paradox is that this places difficult demands on us. Majestic guitar, awesome sonic synth and colossal drum rhythms dominate the sparsely spoken vocals and even rarer sung passages to whet our inquisitive appetites. Chiming guitar solos toll before chugging chunky chords takeover on the guitar-based Hazard.
From the heavy, to a slightly lighter but diverse instrumental, Voices has catchier melodies that lead up to a magnificent crescendo at the end. This uplifting piece then gently drops into Fail/Opportunity with a string-based lead before the guitar takes centre stage again.
On Immunity, the instrumentation reveals how human effort and mechanical experimentation can perfectly combine to produce alluring artistic music. Sharing Thoughts clatters along in similar tone until eventually we are provided with one thought-provoking statement: “Whether we are based on carbon or on silicon it makes no fundamental difference which should each be treated to appropriate respect.”
Throughout the later tracks, the amazing range of instrumentals are briefly punctuated by a few lyrics in a variety of vocal styles. As sparse as these moments are, they are extremely thought-provoking and reflect the main philosophy of the album. That of humans coming to terms with the increasing influence and effects of the pace and extent of digital progress. “There are also developments that make life easier and safer,” says drummer Janosch Rathmer. “Alone, the positive influences that global networks have on medical progress contribute actively on saving lives:” How relevant at this moment in our earth’s history.
The only piece on the album with orthodox vocals comes in Beyond Your Limits. The vocal comes from Eric A. Pulverich of the band Kyles Tolone. “We got to know him over our producer Arne Neurand” says bassist Jan Hoffmann. “We were instantly fascinated by his voice and we wanted to show the quality of his voice and melodies.“ Perhaps the most significant statement arrives in the final track Ashes, which expresses an alien opinion that mankind is a virus damaging the environment.
This venerable band of musicians has continued to expand and explore the sonic avenues on How We Want To Live? and will enthral both the avid Long Distance Calling fan and any newcomers, like me, to their sumptuous music.
Check out our interview with Jan Hoffman, bassist with Long Distance Calling, here.
Listen to Hazard here: