"Don’t look now, but it’s happening again"
When I last left off concerning The Long Gones, it was in an article for CityBeat in October of 2009, nearly two years ago to the month. The CD version of their infamous LP, Prepare to Burn had been issued onto CD by Shake It Records with a slew of bonus tracks and things were looking good for more shows, recording plans and more releases… Shows were played, as promised… Those recording plans would include time spent with Peter Greenburg, a Cincinnati Punk Rock pioneer, from The Customs… Actually, that recording session and this 7” was the big secret eluded to in the City beat article…
I really thought that more than just three songs were recorded and some unreleased gems were laying around for future re-issue consideration. I even took time to send an e-mail inquiring about that possibility to Bryan.
“We only recorded the 3 songs with Peter [Greenburg]. Never even practiced with him. He was only in town for a few days. Stace [guitar] had been in Japan on his honeymoon. He got back, met us in the studio, and we were rolling an hour later” stated by Bryan in his e-mail.
Beggars cant be choosers can they? I might have wanted more, but I got what they wanted to give. A double A-side three song, 7” (big hole) limited to 300 hand numbered vinyl copies.
The first of a double A-Side (which is a lot like a double cheeseburger, except with music) is a rager titled "Tear You Apart". The jam outright reaches off the record with knife in hand. Slashing with guitar leads and rolling bass lines... Pounding with a steady rhythm and upfront drawing vocals. The Long Gones never sounded fresher or better!
"Tear You Apart" is a strong emotionally charged song brimming with convictions of isolation, rejection and desperation. Yeah, it’s about a girl... As soon as everything seems to be getting set up with this song, and an area seems to be cultivated for some guitar flexing and the whole thing is about to spread out to more verses and further use of the secret Peter Greenburg tipped JDAM, it just stops! I feel as if the song could have been twice as long. Yeah, this new, re-vamped 'survivor' version of The Long Gones sounds even closer to a Stooges influence than ever but it’s as if they reel in "Tear You Apart" before it even comes close to almost becoming a drawn-out Stooges epic of a song. Yeah that might be what everyone, myself including was suspecting anyway. It’s always good leaving the wanter's wanting more wanting more and as "Tear You Apart" draws to an end, I actually find myself missing the song in the few seconds until the next one begins... The wanter, wanting more… "Tear You Apart" wasn’t the attack; it was just the warm up. The beginning of the attack.
Soon enough though, the other A-Side moves in for the kill…
"Down That Road Before" launches and hits hard. You discover, soon enough, that your vessel has taken a direct hit! “Down That Road Before” is an appropriately paired song with "Tear You Apart". Both of the songs seem to capture at the same theme... They seem to share a theme; the songs are gettin’ at something but sometimes you just gotta let the story play out dont’cha? On “Down That Road Before” its action time! No more standing around! There is a lesson in there/here. Yeah, a lesson! Who ever said you can’t learn from a record? Of course you can... The lesson with "Down that Road Before" is that the lesson has been learned and now must be executed. Ha!
"Down That Road Before" is an empowering, optimistic song. Take command before you can’t take command back. Its advice many people need to listen to and take heed if. "Down That Road Before" expounds the fact that its lesson is as simple as finding your own spot and allowing entrance, but is also not a domineering one. Share, but beware.
"I learned my lessons the first time around
and if you don’t take two steps back,
you'll get put down"
No, "Down That Road Before" isn’t necessarily a love song or about a girl... This song can’t be just about a girl or relationship(s) can it? Well, it may be so after all, but this song is more about personal space. Allow it; honor it (or else). I must say that the guitar work on "Down That Road Before" is verily on the pleasing side. It’s more spot-on with what I expect by the presence of Peter Greenburg. The guitar-work screams and refuses to not be noticed. "Down That Road Before" could be (another) champion-level Long Gones song.
In fact with just one side of the record down, this release has the shaping of a verily memorable 7" in the works. So, with that being said, lets move on to the single B-Side of the record, a country song turned obscure rock and/or roll standard “I’m Movin' On" originally written by Hank Snow and subsequently recorded and reworked numerous times by a wide range of artist from Elvis Presley to Emmy Lou Harris and even Loggins & Messina!
Or is it?
The Long Gones seemingly drew from the arrangement of the song as performed by the band known as [The] Evil, from Miami Florida in the 60’s. The Long Gones, coupled with Peter Greenburg definitely do the song justice. Admittedly so by Bryan in his e-mail to me, the song was only technically familiar to Peter Greenburg at the time of tracking the song. The Evils song was familiar to the band, their ears and record collections, but none-the-less a challenge still. The newly re-assembled version of The Long Gones dove head first into unfamiliar territory. Bringing forth the deal and assembling a rather ripping version of the song that would surely make Evil proud and make Hank Snow scratch through his greased up head of hair and only ask questions that everyone would refuse to answer.
The song is a perfect fit in the triad of songs that seem to tale the tale of heartache and woe and revenge and I told ya so! attitudes. So yeah, unless yer looking deeper… Unless you are the type to go another step past where you normally find answers, then that’s what you get. Really though, that’s enough…
The world can use another song about a love gone wrong. Its OK, no permission is needed. Heartache makes for some great all-time songs. It always will too.
After all, lessons are to be learned AND executed right?
As for new futures and secrets concerning The Long Gones, apparently it’s not so much secret this time.