Not so long ago we published a review of an EP Langhorn Slim and the Law (click here) released through Noisetrade.com as a teaser for this album, The way we move. Not only did 'Summertime' receive a favourable review, it is one of the better read articles on this blog this year. So how does the EP translate into a whole album?
Langhorn Slim and the Law is Langhorne Slim, who's called Sean Scolnick, on vocals and guitar, Malachi DeLorenzo on drums, David Moore on banjo and keyboard, and Jeff Ratner on bass. Together they are able to cook up a storm, where one song further they will be playing your heartstrings successfully as well. Active since 1999 when the band started playing in Pennsylvania, The way we move is the band's sixth album since 2004. Langhorne Slim also recorded a solo album with the same name. All this passed me by. The free Summertime EP was my first exposure to the band.
The rough and raw-edged voice of Langhorne Slim is the first thing I really noticed. Not (un)like Rod Stewart, but in a song like 'Someday' he sounds like what Buddy Holly could have sounded like had he lived to 33. (That would have been 1969. Would he have played Woodstock or been "forgotten"?) Next is the variety in moods and songs on The way we move. Langhorne Slim exposes us to different ranges of his musical tastes. From singer-songwriter material like 'Song for Sid' to the up-beat title song or the Caribbean flavoured 'Just a dream'. The modern form of folkrock is present with a banjo in 'Bad luck'. On The way we move all these different influences and styles come by, that make the album interesting and fun to listen. The Faces like piano in 'Fire' is another element that really sticks out.
Langhorne Slim and the Law tune the mood down regularly as well. What inspired 'Song for Sid' I don't know, but Scolnick lets the listener look into his soul. "I loved this old man, I wrote him this song", he sings, before shouting out in pain "gone, gone, gone". The seriousness of 'Song for Sid' attests to the fact how diverse The way we move is. Perhaps slightly too diverse, but my guess is that this song just had to come out. 'Two crooked hearts' is the total opposite. Fast, pounding, not happy, but determined. 'Coffee cups' is the opposite again. Another very serious song about being away from home, that true followers of this blog will have recognised.(as you've listened to the EP, right?).
The third real thing sticking out is the cover photograph. This is a great find! Worth a review by someone with knowledge of photography. Sorry, I'm skipping here.
Taking The way we move all in, the album sits well with me. It will not be my favorite of 2013, but it is a good old decent song smith of an album, that manages to please in a few ways, which is quite a feat. Langhorne Slim and the law convince in ballads, rockers and plain fun songs. And when 'Salvation' rings bells of 'Alabama shamrock', the band even comes close to my personal favorites The Hackensaw Boys and that's a compliment.
You can order The way we move here