The Fresh & Onlys look, according to their press release, “exactly like a biker gang composed of record store employees who could stomp your ass while shouting Kobaïan (that language ‘70s French prog band Magma made up) at you, if they felt like it”. Which sounds like pretty frightening stuff.
But don’t be scared. Long Slow Dance, the initials of which are no accident, could hardly be less scary. This is pure, shiny psychedelic pop, from the gorgeous title track to the summery anthem of ‘Presence of Mind’, the delightfully retro ‘Dream Girl’, and a pulsing ‘No Regard’. Their beards may be shaggy but the sound is slick, while still full of depth thanks to some healthy reverb.
‘The Executioner’s Song’ sounds like a more pastoral version of the The Shins, its dreamy jangle complimented by beautiful horns, but the band do occasionally let their lengthy hair down, never more so than on the lengthy climax, ‘Foolish Person’, which descends into crunching psychedelia at the close.
It’s a rare departure from the glossy sound that characterises this album without dulling its edges. This is their fourth record in as many years, not counting a number of side projects, and after plenty of plugging away they seem to have hit upon their perfect formula.