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splendid > reviews > 10/21/2002
Long Weekend
Long Weekend
All Roads Lead to Roam
555


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "What's Up With That Smile?"

Buy me now
Melbourne, Australia-based trio Long Weekend has kept the flame burning for early '90s indie music. The five-year-old, all-girl outfit plays straight-ahead mopey jangle rock with a little extra mope tossed in for good measure. The sound recalls The Spinanes at their most primitive, though it is significantly denser.

Unfortunately, in this instance more is not always better, as Long Weekend's songs more often than not fall short of the Spinanes' fabulous work. Much of the problem is the monotonous delivery of lead singer Vanessa Ross. However, when Ross's voice is paired with backing vocals in a higher octave (as in "Thin Lipped Song"), the effect can be fairly gripping. Another peeve: while it may be intended to be clever, the discordant bass in the opening number ruins what might have been the record's best effort. By default, the album's best track is the e-bow-laden "What's Up With That Smile?", which expertly pairs Ross's gloomy outlook with a more powerful, atmospheric production.

All Roads Lead to Roam dresses up the trio's sparse sound with an odd studio trick here and there, to mixed results. The reverse hi-hat lisp in "Summit" adds little to the meandering song (a little liberal distortion pedal would have gone a lot further in giving it a bit of dynamic range). Production issues aside, Long Weekend ultimately succeeds in recreating the jangly guitar rock made popular almost ten years ago by Bettie Serveert and others, and its little trip down Memory Lane is a welcome one.



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