Go for what you know. That’s the real theme behind the new album by Long Distance Calling called “Boundless.” After experimenting with two albums that were half instrumentals and half with vocals, the band are back to being an instrumental band full time. To be fair, LDC always had one song with vocals on each album (except for their improv self released album “Nighthawk”), so “Boundless” feels like LDC fully committing themselves to who they are.
The music on “Boundless” is perhaps edgier than ever. The riffs are more abrasive and even the atmospheric moments seem to have more force to them. The album starts off strong with “Out There” which shows off exactly what LDC are about and have been about: strong riffs and great dynamics. “Ascending” is another great riff song with a relentless feel. Things get more atmospheric with “In the Clouds” which has electronic percussion that actually works (you know I tend not to like it), because it never tries to sound like drums. Rather it’s more akin to what Phil Collins was using in the early 80s.
“Like a River” is well titled as it has the sound of wind at the beginning and end with a propulsive guitar riff throughout the song. It sounds like a river wandering down a mountain. At least that’s the picture I get from it. And that’s what Long Distance Calling are good at, painting pictures with their music. “The Far Side” is another good example. It’s got a grinding yet very eerie sound to it, with some excellent keyboards that color in that Goblin-esque vibe.
I love the piano on “On the Verge.” I was concerned with no designated keyboard player for “Boundless” that the band would forego them altogether. Thankfully, this is not the case. The album finishes with “Weightless” and “Skydivers” which are both great songs BUT neither are epics. That’s the one thing missing from “Boundless.” Each LDC album has had a big epic number. While “Skydivers” is a solid closer, it would have been an even better album with a 10 minute masterpiece at the end.
Long Distance Calling have always come through with great albums and “Boundless” is another example of that. They have shown they can work with vocals so that experiment was a success. Still, it’s nice to hear a band doing what they do better than almost any other band. Play amazing instrumental post rock/progressive rock. “Boundless” will definitely please long time fans of Long Distance Calling and also proves to be a good example of what this band can do.
- Out There
- In The Clouds
- Like A River
- The Far Side
- On The Verge
Label: Inside Out Music
Release Date: February 02, 2018