The Long and Short of It
In a funny bit of fortuitous irony, the release of Burl—the new album by post-hardcore badasses The Long and Short of It—happens to coincide with this year's San Diego Music Awards. For those who might not know the backstory, the band was mistakenly nominated last year for an EP titled "My Forever Book," which doesn't exist.
This year, the group may well be getting the jump on next year's awards, thanks to the mean 30 minutes of ass-kicking punk rock that they hammer out on Burl, their first new album in four years. True to its title, Burl is a tough and masculine arm-wrestling match of a record, stacked with blazing guitar riffs, hard-as-fuck rhythms and Ben Johnson's commanding growls, which lend the band a bit more metal cred—equal parts Lemmy Kilmeister and Ronnie James Dio (with a little bit of Ian Svenonious of The Nation of Ulysses).
Having made a name for themselves via near-legendary live shows and an affinity for all things loud, The Long and Short of It most likely aren't going to catchy anyone totally off guard with Burl. Don't mistake that for a criticism; they rock as hard as they ever have, and this album only helps cement their legacy as one of San Diego's most consistently intense rock groups. (You can see for yourself when the band plays a record-release show on Saturday, Oct. 11, at Soda Bar.)
No track on Burl is longer than four minutes, which makes each slab of gut-punching low end and abrasive fretwork as potent and efficient as possible, whether it's the dizzying Jesus Lizard-style chaos of "The Owl," the Sunset Strip glam thrash of "Storm Makers," the gate-storming thunder of "Beneath the Willow" or the two-chord beatdown of "Tongues."
Given how frequent the highlights are on Burl, it raises a kind of rock-crit existential question: If every song is a standout, are any of them standouts? That's heavy—just like The Long and Short of It.