Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Long Whisker debut with Long Live Long Whisker

Some things are bound to happen, like Long Whisker. The assemblage of Reagan Sova, Scott Hein and Jim Cherewick must be fated since it is so unlikely. All three members come from acts that have made their names in the burgeoning Ypsilanti scene or in the Detroit area to such a degree that they needn't have begun another project (granted, LW may not have happened had Sova's old project Bear Mountain Picnic stayed together). Yet Long Whisker is real and the quickly assembled debut EP is so well executed that it can't be anything but destiny.

Long Live Long Whisker is the proclamation made at the outset and the name of the band's first effort. Cherewick and Sova summon the plodding rhythm and indie sensibility of acts like Silver Jews and imply the nostalgic ethos of The Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society with their acoustic guitars and vocal tradeoffs. The interjecting harmony of Hein's various keys, especially the occasional Rhodes-like sound, is a perfect unifying element for the overall sound. Lyrically, Long Whisker are a synthesis of storytelling and peculiar observation ("astronauts are so expensive to insure because the darkness of space is so unforgiving"). Sova's direct, doubletracked delivery contrasts with the unique emotive croak of Cherewick.

In all their modesty and subtlety, Long Whisker appear to be a modern version of what any number of prestigious bands might have been in the seventies had they not slipped from country-fried to arena rock, or hated each other so much or been such broken, self-conscious rock gods. As grandiose as that may sound, all it really means is that modesty and sensitivity coupled with masterful execution makes really good music and Long Whisker have made a great start. Download it for free here.