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The Longpigs released their debut at the heigh of Britpop fevour, you would be excused for dismissing them as a generic britpop act or for not even hearing of them. But they are not to be dismissed.
Lost Myself kicks The Sun Is Often Out off, Richard Hawley plays crunchy melodic guitar whilst Crispin croons about being left alone after a break up. The other members blend into the background and for me only Richard as the talented guitarist, the guitar solo on this track reminds me of Graham Coxon's work on Coffee and Tv which is brilliant, and Crispin as the impressive singer and impressionable front man shine out. The Longpigs to me sound a little like The Las (There She Goes), crossed perhaps with late Blur (later than 96 anyway). Definitely a single.
Far is my favourite song on the album. The chorus gets right inside your head and lifts my mood everytime I hear it. Jangling guitar provides perfect backing to a melody soaked track that oozes with hook. Crispin is a fantastic songwriter and fortunately is still writing songs with some pretty big names, most recently with Newton Faulkner on his latest album. Incidently Cripsin also had a fantastic haircut, gotta love those 90s cuts.
On & On has to have a mention. If youwill have only heard of one Longpigs song it will be On & On. It remains a great track, a fantastic love song I think it made it onto some NME love song list or other. It's a gently building ballad with some very emotive vocals from our Crispin, he has a very impressive range. It's also a very catchy, melodic tune which you will keep coing back to.
The Longpigs are an absolutely fantastic band and they are almost unheard of. The whole album is filled with brilliance that is two step forward from the usual indie drivel of the time. Their second album wasn't so impressive but their debut stands as a testament to their ability to write a brilliant album.
Hands up who remembers the Longpigs! In a recent mooch through my CD collection I came up with the gem of an album that is The Sun is Often Out, originally released in 1996. It was the debut album from the Sheffield Britpop / Britrock band and is heaving with anthems including the singles She Said, On and On, Far and Lost Myself that have lasted the test of time and will take you straight back to the Britpop era.
The band achieved considerable success during the height of their career and listening to The Sun is Often Out, it's not hard to see why. It's an accomplished album with plenty of heavy guitars, lonelyheart lyrics and some sublime melodies. On and On has to be one of my all time favourite indie love songs with its haunting melody and raw vocals and the album is filled to the brim with a variety of heartfelt ballads and rockier anthems. The overall sound is a more mature and polished version of many of the Britpop bands that the Longpigs rivalled. They have the quintessential Northern accents combined with a more subtle guitar sound than some of the other bands of the era. Perhaps this is why the songs have stood the test of time so much better than other bands. The Longpigs haven't used gimmicks or happy go lucky tunes in creating this album but the result is a fantastic album with some stellar tracks.
The opening four tracks are also the singles that were taken from the album and are undoubtedly the best songs on The Sun is Often Out. They also show the diversity of the band with the rocky upbeat number of She Said sandwiched between the emotive and angst ridden Lost Myself and the beautifully haunting On and On. The album is a rollercoaster of emotions and a perfect reminder of my angst ridden teenage years in the late 90s. I'll admit that many of the older albums that are gathering dust in my CD collection are there purely for sentimental reasons. Unfortunately, this album has little sentimentality attached to it. It's simply a stonker of a record that is perfect for Sunday afternoon listening.
Unfortunately, despite almost successfully breaking into the American market and supporting U2 on their PopMart tour, The Longpigs died along with Britpop. They have left a lasting and fitting legacy though in the form of The Sun is Often Out. Fortunately, if you appreciate the songwriting skills of Longpigs lead vocalist Crispin Hunt, he's still co-writing with other artists. Hunt aided Newton Faulkner with 4 tracks on his debut album including the single Dream Catch Me which is another of those upbeat yet sentimental songs I have a bad habit of crooning along to.
On the plus side for all you bargain hunters, the demise of the Longpigs means you should be able to pick this album up relatively cheaply. I think the singles alone make it worth your money. If you've ever appreciated Britpop, catchy melodies, haunting lyrics and vocals or all of the above, then it's well worth hunting down a copy or dusting your old one off and taking a step back in time to when music had melodies, vocalists sang instead of talking and Britpop ruled the world.
1. Lost Myself
2. She Said
4. On And On
5. Happy Again
6. All Hype
7. Sally Dances
8. Jesus Christ
9. Dozen Wicked Words
11.Over Our Bodies
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Lost Myself - Longpigs, Hugh Jones
2 She Said - Longpigs
3 Far - Longpigs
4 On & On - Longpigs
5 Happy Again - Longpigs
6 All Hype - Longpigs, Hugh Jones
7 Sally Dances - Longpigs
8 Jesus Christ - Longpigs
9 Dozen Wicked Words - Longpigs
10 Elvis - Longpigs, Hugh Jones
11 Over Our Bodies - Longpigs, Hugh Jones
12 Sleep - Longpigs