We’re glad to announce that Tavares, United States-based thrash punk band The Longest Hall have released a new album, entitled One Short Ride.
The Longest Hall are comprised of brothers Zac, Adam, and Dan Hall. Zac sings lead and plays guitar, Adam sings backup and holds down the low end on bass, while Dan sings as well (occasionally taking the lead) and drives the rhythm section on drums. Drawing inspiration from the amazing musicians in their local scene in Florida, The Longest Hall’s influences range from punk and thrash to ska, jazz, metal, and everything in between, as they try not to limit themselves to any one style.
Having started out as a ska band in high school (which you can still occasionally hear in The Longest Hall’s songs), the band were strongly influenced by Streetlight Manifesto’s Everything Goes Numb, and their performances at the time were a mixture of half Streetlight covers and half originals. Since then, The Longest Hall have played Sing Out Loud Fest in St. Augustine with Hot Water Music, Propagandhi, and a massive list of other fantastic bands in 2019, as well as having opened for regional and national acts like The Bastard Suns, Zeta, The Queers, and Supervillains. They’ve also played at many of the large local festivals in Central Florida yearly since their start; and the release of The Longest Hall’s second album today through Havoc Underground coincides with the same day that they are playing a show at the major music festival, “Fest,” in Gainesville, FL.
At the start of the pandemic, the trio were not able to work, so they spent the beginning of quarantine together turning an old yard shed on family property into a fully functional rehearsal space and video studio. It took almost 7 weeks, but they now have an amazing space that’s fully dedicated to music. The band wrote most of the songs for One Short Ride in that space, and are currently working on a video to accompany the album release.
On One Short Ride, The Longest Hall explore life, death, and the journey from one to the next. Their sound falls somewhere between Mastodon and Rise Against – think thrashy punk rock with a dash of melodic hardcore, a hint of metal, and a twist of pop punk to garnish. The album was recorded and produced by Gustavo Porras at Red Lion Studios in Orlando, FL, and mastered by Rogue Planet in Gardiner, NY. The cover art was done by Russian artist Yuri Chuchmay, with whom the band also worked on their first LP, 2018’s Don’t Panic!.
Describing the backstory behind One Short Ride, the band say, “Most of these songs came together over the course of the pandemic, but the first single, Out of Nowhere, was written, recorded, and released in early 2020. Originally, we only planned to do a single with Gus, but we had such an amazing experience working with him that we decided to push out as many songs as we could together over the next few months. One Short Ride was the result. He actually co-wrote the third single The Meager with us, which was written almost entirely in the studio. We’ve been doing our Sweet Transvestite cover live since we started the band, and, unbelievably, there was another cover of the same song released while we were working on it in the studio. We’ll leave it up to you to find out who did it, but we all got a kick out of it. The second single and title track, One Short Ride, is a metaphor for a lot of different things. It’s about how difficult and fragile life can be, and how the best way to get through it is by putting the journey before the destination. Taken in the most literal sense, though, it’s basically just a description our girlfriends’ sex lives. Ay-ooohh!”
Detailing the meaning behind each song on One Short Ride, The Longest Hall write, “The track titles and order are meant to mirror the structure of a story. Each of us lives this story continually in our lives, and in different ways. After the Fall represents an end, and a beginning. In the Distance is the feeling of being able to see what we need, but fearing the obstacles we must overcome to get there may be insurmountable. Out of Nowhere shows our hopes and fears, and how each plays into the way we move forward toward a goal. The Meager outlines the hopelessness we can feel when so close to accomplishing a goal, but knowing it’s still just out of grasp. Finally, One Short Ride is the realization that life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the ride. And then there’s a cover of Sweet Transvestite from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, cause, you know, gotta keep it fun.”
The album begins with “After The Fall,” which combines catchy, hard-hitting electric guitar riffs with powerful drumming and impressive vocals by all three band members. Next is “In The Distance,” characterized by dynamic drum rhythms, with surprising twists and turns in the guitar melodies making the track quite an engaging listen throughout; while “Out of Nowhere” sees The Longest Hall shift from a reflective, ballad-like introduction into more energetic, punk-inflected passages and finally into a singalong chorus towards the track’s conclusion, highlighting the band’s creativity and versatility.
The spiky chords and fast-tempo rhythms of the fourth track, “The Meager,” are perhaps most revealing of The Longest Hall’s thrash influences, while the track’s vocal melodies maintain a strong punk element throughout–leading nicely into the title track, on which memorable lyrical passages are interspersed with progressive riffs, further demonstrating the band’s penchant for crafting catchy yet impressively dynamic punk/metalcore songs that draw from a wide swath of musical influences. Next is “Sweet Transvestite,” and while I haven’t (yet) seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Longest Hall’s cover of this song is a compelling reason for me to check it out, with its grooving electric guitar chords and humorous storyline. “Fanfare” then victoriously concludes the album with the magnificent and stately sound of trumpets.
One Short Ride is quite an enjoyable listen throughout, showcasing The Longest Hall’s brilliant songwriting and excellent musicianship; I would highly recommend this album to fans of punk and metalcore alike.
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