UPDATE: [Album Review] Longreef ‘Dirty Motel EP’

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Update: You can download a free track “Want Me Back” by clicking here.

Review by Chris Lockett: In this day and age, it is very difficult for a Rock band to be successful. The great Australian band AC/DC once said, “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna Rock n’ Roll”. And now, a new Aussie band is looking for success here in the U.S. Their name is Longreef, and they plan to release their second EP, entitled “Dirty Motel” on June 12th. They certainly have the drive to be a success, but do they have the talent? Hit the jump to find out!

If you’ve heard the band’s first EP, simply titled Longreef, then you will recall that the band has a surf-rock sound going on. Well, throw your expectations out the window because Dirty Motel is a VERY different animal, drawing a strong influence from 90s post-grunge, as well as being lyrically reminiscent of other modern hard rock bands such as Buckcherry and Papa Roach. To be honest, I could see fans of the band’s first EP not really liking Dirty Motel because of its drastic change in sound. However, what people need to understand is that Longreef is a band that wears its influences on its sleeve, and is interested, for the time being, in experimenting with different genres. There is nothing wrong with this, and it should be looked at as a positive thing, rather than a negative. This way, when the band decides to put out their debut album, they will already have a legion of fans who will be curious as to how much of the sound from their favorite of the band’s EPs made it on to the album. Some may be disappointed, but hey, at least they’ll still have the original EP that piqued their interests in the band in the first place.

So the EP starts off with two dirty rockers, the first of which is “She Likes The Ladies”, which consists of singer Josh Barker singing about a lady that he likes who, well, likes ladies too. The second track, (and my favorite of the EP), is “Dirty Motel”, which is about a woman who moves to Hollywood, and all of the…favors that she has to provide in order to become famous. So what makes the two tracks any different than something that Nickelback would write? Well, for one the lyrics are written much more creatively, containing a lot of innuendo as opposed to in your face horndoggery (yes, I just created a word). For instance, a verse from “Dirty Motel”: Ropin’ in the trust fund babies/Daddy’s little girl wants to be a star/She learns fast, how to get what she wants/with her head down, in the fancy cars. So, as you can see, it’s not The Wall, but it’s not trying to be either.

The third track of the EP, entitled “How Long”, is a boring and forgettable soft rocker thats only purpose is to lull listeners in to the final two tracks of the EP, both of which are ballads. For future releases, I feel that it would prove beneficial to mix the rockers and the ballads together, as opposed to keeping them separated, so as to shake things up and not rely on a combo song to tie the two types of songs together.
The two ballads at the end of the EP are very solid, and are able to balance emotion with the dirty post-grunge sound that graces the rest of the EP. The first ballad, “Want Me Back”, is your stereotypical broken heart ballad, that somehow manages to work in spite of itself. It’s a bit mushy, so to speak, and is definitely one for the ladies. The second ballad, “Sweet Emotion”, (no, it’s not an Aerosmith cover), is a relaxing acoustic ditty that does its job, and does it well.

The Bottom Line: Dirty Motel is an interesting departure from Longreef’s first EP. It has become clear that this is a band that is not interested in sticking to just one sound, and would rather experiment and see what sticks. Some may look at this as a bad thing, but those with an appetite for versatility will undoubtedly find much to love about this band.