Title: The Longest Day
Genre: Gothic Rock
Release Date: 30th November 2021
Label: Models Own Records
Originally from Bristol in the UK, RHOMBUS now count Huddersfield as their base-camp. Huddersfield is not famous for very much really (sheep, singing, mills, that kind of thing) but it is next door to Leeds, and Leeds was without doubt the birthplace and incubation centre of the UK’s thriving Gothic-Rock scene back in the day. So there’s that. The band have built up a fiercely loyal reputation, honing a sound that is essentially dark-rock, but with a knowing, witty self-awareness (see THE SISTERS OF MERCY), effortlessly blending male and female vocals into the mix (see THE MARCH VIOLETS), and releasing critically claimed albums alongside an impeccable live reputation (see not enough bands, to be honest). There are frequently hats involved.
Latest album ‘The Longest Day’ teases you in with ‘You Depend On You’, a song so ludicrously and gloriously packed full of busy drama it’s like an album in itself, bustling and fizzing with dark grandeur and a balanced bluster. This, let’s be clear, is how you open an album. We get all Eastern and mysterious on ‘Sodium Sunrise’, the vocal interplay here contrasting beautifully, as it whisks down dusty side-streets like a slow-motion sandstorm. ‘Get Over Yourself’ is a far more cheery affair, scampering about and showering memes, while ‘Always Hope’ is an assured and dignified modern hymn, a mature optimism raising its head defiantly throughout. ‘No Victim’ is a completely natural follow-on song. Good stuff indeed.
The title track, and ‘Not For Me’, ease through standard rock hoops and deliver a lively and satisfying swirl of industrious professionalism, ‘Magnificent’ an example of craft at work - this is what RHOMBUS excel at. Complex threads finding one another to make a whole that sounds wonderfully at ease. ‘Another Way’ further explores this interplay, skittering drums and dark atmospherics driving this along into the echo of vocals and the melancholy of piano. It’s a huge, imposing modern gothic-rock epic, unashamedly ambitious and a real stand-out here. Which leaves ‘Love Is The Answer’ a tough act to follow. It’s simply beautiful, the harmonies in the chorus alone enough to melt even the hardest of black hearts. And this, let’s be clear, is how you close an album.
RHOMBUS have recorded their best work yet here, playing absolutely to their strengths and creating an album that is bold, emotional, honest and complete. There are no loose ends, and nothing missing - ‘The Longest Day’ is old school enough to command a beginning to end listen, while individually packed with perfect modern sound-bites.
01. You Depend On You
02. Sodium Sunrise
03. Get Over Yourself
04. Always Hope
05. No Victim
06. The Longest Day
08. Not For Me
09. Another Way
10. Love Is The Answer
Edward Grassby – Vocals / Bass Guitar
Alixandrea Corvyn – Vocals
Rob Walker – Guitars / Keyboards / Programming
Lee Talbot – Drums / Percussion / Programming
https://shop.rhombus.org.uk / https://www.facebook.com/rhombus.uk
Total: 8 / 10