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Long Distance Calling: Trips

German act Long Distance Calling now find themselves on InsideOut for their latest release Trips, which sees the four piece of Janosch Rathmer (drums), florian Funtmann (guitar), Jan Hoffmann (bass), and David Jordan (guitar) joining up with vocalist Petter Carlsen for an album that is half instrumental and half featuring vocals. And Carlsen's vocals are indeed strong, soaring to the heavens on the driving rocker "Reconnect", delivering Steve Hogarth' styled emotion on the melancholy "Rewind", and plenty forceful on the metallic "Lines". However, the meat & potatoes of Trips are the otherworldly instrumentals, like the mesmerizing "Getaway", the complex & raucous "Momentum", and the lengthy 12-minute epic "Flux", each one sprinkled with intricate guitar firepower, bubbling space rock styled keyboard effects, and gymnastic rhythms. Think Rush-meets-Ozric Tentacles-meets-Hawkwind and you have some idea for the sizzling sounds created on these tracks, certainly hefty enough for the hard rock & metal crowd but plenty exploratory and enchanting for those that savor delicious, floating prog.

Trips will definitely take you on that magical 'trip', so be sure not to miss this mystical, magical excursion of sumptuous sounds brought to you by Long Distance's that good.

Track Listing
1. Getaway
2. Reconnect
3. Rewind
4. Trauma
5. Lines
6. Presence
7. Momentum
8. Plans
9. Flux

Added: June 13th 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 3031
Language: english

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Long Distance Calling: Trips
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-06-14 00:57:10
My Score:

Back in 2009 I discovered an impressive young band called Long Distance Calling. Their sophomore album Avoid The Light was excellent but as is so often the case I hadn't heard anything else from the band. Three albums later I am delighted to bring you their new album Trips, an apt title as this is an album that will take you on an enjoyable ride every time you press play. Maybe the perfect album to start a road trip but I will let you be the judge of that. First a little about the band.

Long Distance Calling hail from Germany and formed in 2006. They released a demo that same year and followed it with their debut Satellite Bay a year later. Early comparisons were made to post rock bands Red Sparowes and Godspeed You Black Emperor. Their album Avoid The Light was a very impressive heavy post rock disc that was mostly instrumental, save for a guest appearance by Jonas Renske (Katatonia). On the new album four tracks include the vocals of guest musician Petter Carlsen which is a big plus for the band as he has an outstanding voice and the vocal melodies are superb. Trips is a mature album from a band knowing precisely what they can accomplish. Right from the opening track "Getaway" the band's sense of melody is a huge plus. There is a slight electronic vibe with the crisp drum beat and keyboards and the guitar rhythms recall Signal-era Rush, which is never a bad thing. Here the vocals are robotic and really quite mesmerizing. I want to play this one over and over again which is truly the mark of a great track. "Reconnect" is another tasty tune with soaring vocals, heavy riffs and generally stellar instrumental interplay. Proggy alternative hard rock might be an apt descriptor. On "Rewind" plaintive piano and lovely lead vocals are in stark contrast to the heaviness that is to come. The band travel back and forth between heavy and light, where the band focus on some eerie tripped out sounds to great effect. One of the band's strengths is the contrast in heavy and more mellow soundscapes. The instrumental "Trauma" is highlighted by outstanding chord progressions and intense drum work while "Presence" defines the post rock sound.

"Flux" is the longest track where the band showcase their ability to build interestingly trippy soundscapes while still retaining a tunefulness that not many bands can achieve. At times the moody atmospheres recall Pink Floyd. The band also venture into heavier territory and are able to show their considerable chops as well. A really fine epic that ably demonstrates the band's inherent compositional skill and imaginative playing from all band members. Really a great way to close out the album.

There is no other way to say it, Trips is an outstanding album from a band that seems to be in exactly the right place. As the music ebbs and flows you just might be as completely mesmerized as I was. I strongly suggest you head over to InsideOut Music and check it out.

Long Distance Calling: Trips
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-04-24 13:53:55
My Score:

Possibly through their ability to dart between metal, rock, prog, alt-metal, electro-pop and a whole lot more, Germany's Long Distance Calling remain something of an undiscovered secret. TRIPS is their fifth full length album and as before it finds a mix of vocal led cuts (courtesy of Petter Carlsen the vocalist seldom remains the same for this group) and instrumental fare. As the years have gone on that balance has just about evened itself out, this album roughly half and half in terms of songs with lyrics and those without. Carlsen proves an inspired choice, his clear, clean vocals bringing to mind everything from Midge Ure (Ultravox) to Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief), while still having a strong enough character of his own to mimic no one. "Rewind" finds him soaring and swooping as crashes of guitar rain down and keyboards heighten the whole effect, while the quirky time changes and echoing guitars bring a very modern prog feel to "Lines", the song's build and release masterful as Carlsen changes styles and attacks admirably. Oddly the song reminds of Ultravox through it's synth style and yet as the riff ebbs and flows underneath, so the feel remains bullish and confident.

Arguably however it is through the wordless tracks that LDC have always hit hardest and while a full album with Carlsen at the helm would have been extremely satisfying, it's hard to argue that the strident riff that brings a real sense of majesty to "Trauma" isn't even more mesmerising. The short, chiming "Presence" and it's spoken word outro also ensnares the imagination; a trick repeated by the piece it segues into, "Momentum", and its The Shadows meets Muse beat and melody. However it's through the closing "Flux" that TRIPS makes its most memorable mark, the Pink Floyd like beginning soon evolving into a Tool inspired exercise in atmosphere and threat, although the mood moves from precision era Rush to djent and much else in between. The Rush flavours also evident, in fact even stronger, on opening cut "Getaway".

Long Distance Calling are a band who understand that the best way in which to present instrumental tracks is to make the listener forget they are instrumental in the first place. TRIPS is possibly their best example in a catalogue where they've already excelled. Add in a selection of their strongest lyric led tracks and it makes this album both LDC's best and one prog (and so much more) aficionados don't want to miss out on.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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