Long Hallways – Live From Dystopia
Long Hallways is a Portland, Oregon based four piece instrumental band. The group formed in 2012 and began performing in and around Portland. They’ve composed music for two short film festivals, and the band released their debut album Live From Dystopia in late 2013. Through it we are introduced to a band, which although uses all the instruments in a standard rock band, makes music that is far from it. The members: Joseph Spencer Chamberlain (bass), Dayna L. Sanders (piano, synth), Daniel Staton (guitar, synth), and Ryan Doss (drums), have managed to create a unique sound, as theirs is an exploration that flows from ethereal and floating, even lilting, to a driven assault powered by thunderous drums and a soaring guitar at the turn of a beat. While the songs are not long by any means, they do each cover a lot of musical ground that the band is all too happy to wade through patiently to let the songs develop. It is a strategy that pays off as the listeners get to take the journey along with the band.
Live From Dystopia opens slowly and softly with “David the Lion.” Its steady drum beat provides room for the bass to walk over while the guitar plays an intricate melody, with the synth filling in the space, as it builds until it breaks free around the three minute mark and races to its conclusion. “Matador” begins with and is pushed along by a jazzy, rolling drum beat, as again, the band fills in the space they create perfectly, with the guitar, bass, and drums doing one thing, while a haunting piano melody hangs in the background. The song explores its surroundings until its halfway point, where it takes an ominous turn with a heavy bass, and an explosive guitar attack to carry the song to its end. “Two Steps” opens as an almost classical sounding track with its haunting piano melody. It is soon joined by a rolling drum beat, methodic bass line, and has its space filled in by the guitars that build around what the piano has laid down. The guitar’s soon kick in with their heavy, distorted tone, elevating the song as the keys pull back attempting to stretch the ambience while the drums and bass race to keep the balance.
Live From Dystopia is mood music, as it aims to set its tone. The music has a certain artistic quality to it, where one could imagine it appearing on soundtracks; it has an ambience that can lull listeners in. Long Hallways have created an album that invites you to dim the lights, sit back, relax, and let them take you along with them.
WORDKRAPHT Rating: 3 Stars
Album Name: Live From Dystopia
Date Released: December, 2013
Genre: indie rock, art rock, experimental rock
Location: Portland, OR
Band Members: Joseph Spencer Chamberlain (bass), Dayna L. Sanders (piano, synth), Daniel Staton (guitar, synth), and Ryan Doss (drums)