March 22nd, 2008 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY - LongwaveReview and images by Dominck Mastrangelo
Longwave have a new record due this year. "For better or worse," said lead singer Steve Schiltz between songs at Saturday night's sold-out show at the Mercury Lounge. With a set list consisting of material slated for the new, as yet unnamed record, and 2003's excellent The Strangest Things one might forget that in between they released another record, There's A Fire (2005). It wasn't until Schiltz mentioned that record prior to playing the album's closing track "Underneath You Know The Names" for the encore that I realized they hadn't played one song from it.
The record probably doesn't deserve to be dismissed as it was upon release or how Schiltz dismissed it on Saturday night, but weaving their stellar new songs with those from Strangest Things, Longwave did well to repress that record even further. New song "Satellites" allowed guitarist Shannon Ferguson to exercise the sea of pedals before him. With a high, siren-like shrill alternating with a hard-charging rock groove during the verse, the sounds that both Ferguson and Schiltz create with their guitars (and is signature to the band's sound) is dizzying at times. The decks of pedals laid out between the two is simply unreal.
The band worked in classics like "Tidal Wave" and "Wake Me When It's Over" from The Strangest Things and closed with a new/old song "Life Is Wrong." (The song resided on the band's MySpace page for almost 18 months.) A five-minute assault of thumping bass, drummer Jason Molina hammering away on his cymbals, and soaring, shimmering guitars. The song lets up for the first two lines of the second verse before it explodes again headlong toward a breathtaking finish. You'll go to a lot of concerts before you experience something as arresting as this song performed live.