From punk beginnings with Jawbreaker Reunion and a love of the Diplodocus comes the sophomore album from Long Neck, Will This Do?
Simply put, it does do. What started out as a DIY side-project for Lily Mastrodimus has flourished into a fully fledged band for this, the moniker’s second album. Joining Mastrodimus who provides lyrics, vocals and the guitar (amongst other things) are John Ambrosio (vocals, drums, percussion), June Amelia Rose (vocals, bass) and Kevin Kim (vocals, guitar).
Love and loss are the overarching themes of Will This Do? and this is perhaps clearest on Matriarch, which was written about Mastrodimus’ grandmother:
you asked me why i didn’t write a ballad yet i wish i could have answered you right then you asked me why i didn’t write a ballad yet will this do?
It’s not just familial affection that the album shines a spotlight on. Tracks such as Ashes and Mine/Yours explore the romantic nature of love and loss, and the growth and progression that comes from moving on. The only aberration in this collection of heartfelt and universally true recollections that, though put pen to paper by Mastrodimus, are familiar to all is Hive Collapse:
i know where you’re living now, i know where you are
if you don’t think that i’m missing you, you were foolish from the start
If you don’t identify with this then you’re either very lucky or you’ve never really loved at all.
All 10 songs of the album are presented in a mix of styles that belie Mastrodimus’ punk past. From the finger picking of Matriarch to the power-pop of Elizabeth there’re lots here to here to discover.
Lastly, Mastrodimus’ voice is perhaps the real lynchpin. She is able to effortlessly switch from the folk on 10,000 Year Old Woman to silky smooth crooning on Lichen. She’s also able to get some chanting in on Milky Way, which has “concert closer” written all over it thanks to the closing repeated refrain of “and i just fucking lost it”.
I think I’ll change what I said at the start of this review. It doesn’t just ‘do’. It surpasses simply ‘doing’ and is a standout album of the burgeoning 2018.
Will This Do by Long Neck was released on the 26th of January on Tiny Engines. It can be ordered at Tiny Engines or at Long Neck’s Bandcamp page.