Review: Longheads ‘Mars Doesn’t Feel Like Home Anymore’ EP
Originating in Norfolk before setting up shop in South London, Longheads are a four-piece with a markedly ambitious and multi-layered psych sound. Coming on the heels of their 2021 EP Higher Than Bacteria, Mars Doesn’t Feel Like Home Anyone follows their approach of densely packed yet free-flowing jams, albeit with a more refined feel. The result is a profoundly satisfying and colorful aura. Recorded, mixed and mastered by the band themselves on their own label Longreel Records, this EP is sure to catch the interest of neo-psych lovers and enthusiasts of improvisational playing.
The opening track One Step Further may warrant comparison with King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard upon first listen, but it follows a vibe much closer between classic British prog like the The Nice and German krautrock like Can. It starts with a jazzy warm-up portion before a haunting Arabesque melody kicks off the progression. There are more tempo changes than you can shake a stick at, and the overall flow of the shift between moods and melodies is very impressive. Longheads have the sound of a band who do not sacrifice focus in the melodic morass of their making.
The King Buffalo-esque number Glossolalia comes next, evoking a watery and dreamlike feel that allows the mind to wander until some truly incendiary lead guitar playing begins tearing up the scenery. One thing I notice is the very vintage sound of how the vocals are mixed. They manage to be in front of the instrumentation while not overtaking it, essentially providing an added layer to the music. Not only do Longheads come off as a well-rehearsed band, but their own skills in recording are worth checking out as well.
a powerful and fluid freak-out session…
The upwelling sound of Longherder brings to mind Hawkwind without saxophone, while the pleasant hippie instrumental ballad In The Beginning brings the listener to a renewed sense of calm. This sets the stage for the absolutely rip-roaring title track Mars Doesn’t Feel Like Home Anyone. At over nine minutes, it’s a powerful and fluid freak-out session, vaguely reminiscent of Comets on Fire with some light touches of proto-punk thrown in the already impressive mix.
With two EPs under their belt, the Longheads lads have shown they have highly controlled chaos with a splendid sense of take-off and touchdown. I am eagerly awaiting a full-length album by these magicians and cannot wait to see what stratosphere they enter next.
Label: Longreel Records
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram
Scribed by: Rob Walsh