One time Jawbreaker Reunion member Lily Mastrodimos is the brains and voice behind Long Neck, whose sophomore album, ‘Will This Do?“, flirts stylishly with folky influences as she foregoes her punkier roots in favour of lo-fi indie pop. With a full band in tow, Mastrodimos has expanded her sound since her DIY debut and the Jersey quartet have come up with an engagingly earnest record, which actually works best when at its most daring.
The quirkily upbeat opener ‘Mine/Yours’ immediately shows what Long Neck are all about with its jangly guitars and a chorus that’s easy on the ear. It makes for a pleasant start, which is immediately backed up by ‘Elizabeth’; complete with a simple chord progression with its roots very much in indie Americana.
Things take a folkier turn on ‘Matriarch’, with its mechanical melody and dark edges, which is a vibe Lily returns to on both ‘Rosy’ and ‘10,000 Year Old Woman’. The downbeat feel is a perfect complement to the break-up undercurrent and repeated listens reveal a satisfying depth to introspective tracks like these. The vocal performances are nothing short of impeccable.
However, it is at its most defiant that the record is most effective. ‘Lichen’, for instance, has some ragged edges to the guitars lending it an air of Jeff Buckley, while the multi-facetted‘Hive Collapse’ switches between fragile and defiant to good effect. It is ‘Milky Way’ that really nails it though; its heavy introduction giving way to a rolling slice of indie with a hint of shoegaze that cuts between a slow heavy vibe and upbeat rock. It even boasts attacking guitar work and a rousing finale to the battle cry of "And I Just Fucking Lost It”.
The more time you spend with this record the more you will get from it. Lily is an exceptional vocalist and her songwriting is nothing short of excellent, anyone who has loved and lost will surely relate to its emotional depths and if you like a bit of substance to your indie melodies this one’s a winner.
‘Will This Do?’ by Long Neck is out now on Tiny Engines.
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Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)