The Longcut

A Call and Response

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After two years' worth of singles and EPs, U.K. indie-dance kids the Longcut finally made their full-length debut with A Call and Response. The trio are from Manchester, so a certain resemblance to folks like New Order, Happy Mondays, and the Stone Roses can perhaps be forgiven due to local influences, but most of A Call and Response sounds like full-on Factory Records revisionism. Not the cool, mopey post-punk of early Factory Records, mind you, but the Factory Records of the Hacienda years, when the drum machines were as plentiful as the drugs and it seemed like a fresh idea to mix synth-dance tracks with indie rock guitars. Arguably, this was indeed a good idea in, say, 1987. Two full decades later, songs like the mindlessly repetitive "Holy Funk" and the dirgey plod of "Transition" lack the same freshness. A decent pair of singles, the blatantly New Order-like "Vitamin C" and a spacy near-ballad called "A Tried and Tested Method," fare better than the rest of A Call and Response, but they're not quite enough to put the album over.

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