Don’t Reach Out 7”
SCQ Rating: 76%
Long Weekends’ Don’t Reach Out operates like that all-important first-impression – apt, considering this release is the Halifax-based band’s induction to Canada’s wider independent scene. As in any social situation, we put our best foot forward – acting cordial and well behaved – before gradually testing the waters with our less guarded selves. Long Weekends do the same, issuing two new (and killer) tracks up front before guiding us into their lo-fi lair via a miscellany of bonus cuts.
(Now to be clear: “Don’t Reach Out” and “Show Your Face” are the two headliners newly available on vinyl courtesy of Noyes Records. Whether the subsequent three cuts that appear on my promo are available on the 7” digital version, I can’t say with certainty. And yes, yes I know: it’s my job to research any discrepancy and verify some facts. But it’s also Skeleton Crew Quarterly’s job to present songs you need to hear, and you pretty much need to hear all of these.)
Despite the two vinyl cuts boasting some clearer production than the later tracks culled from Long Weekends’ 2011 EP Warmer Weather (get that here), Don’t Reach Out thumps along like a united EP. Long Weekends establish themselves fully over the headlining tracks; “Don’t Reach Out” bears a touch of the Ramones’ anthemic quality, even though it’s executed via gloriously thrashing garage-rock tendencies, while “Show Your Face” manages the rare task of casting dark shadows over upbeat, party-ready tunes. That ability to play on the edge of the proverbial sword invokes some complimentary post-punk comparisons (Maritimes style!) on “Quarter Sticks” and “At Long Last”, tracks so busted-up and lo-fi, you’d almost swear they were nihilistic before those heart-felt electric chords entwine you.
As someone who typically prefers the “studio album” (or at least a collection of songs all written for the same release), I was taken off-guard by the instant likeability of Don’t Reach Out 7”. The Long Weekends may be scrappy and brash but the surprises bundled here present a memorable first impression indeed.