The UK band Rhombus dropped the album The Longest Day in November. A four piece band, whom were able to draw on the talent of a plethora of others, have been together for approximately a decade. They reside in a town in West Yorkshire called Huddersfield which was famous during the industrial revolution. Now you may ask why I would be interested in such a fact. Huddersfield since that then has fallen on hard times with reportedly 40% of the children who live there, considered living in poverty. It was something I noticed in the lyrical content of the songs that made me decide to investigate. Songs born of the North. Those that love New Model Army well understand that term.
We start with the Manchester Airport runway chatter of incoming and outgoing planes, wind speeds and estimated speeds with music ambient playing behind, before it all takes off (pun intended). “You Depend On You” is a piece about how in the end only you can define and choose your fate, as you cannot rely on others. A solid mix of electronics and guitars as well as main male vocal with female backing vocals that highlight the tune. I will never say no to a song that has a middle eastern tone to it and “Sodium Sunrise” has that Dead Can Dance influence at the beginning. The call to Ma’at is for the ancient Egyptian goddess of balance, order, truth and justice, to see what has happened to the Kingdom while sodium is a highly reactive metal, that is silver white in colour, mixing it with the light of the morning sun. The guitar work is striking. “Get Over Yourself” is not a very punk song but it does have that sentiment, especially with the intro line being, We don’t drink tea and we’re all out of sympathy. Don’t drink tea? How very! But then a pot watched never boils and the sentiment is that unless one stops wanting what others have, they’ll never achieve anything.
There is somewhat of an Asian tone before the guitars chime in on “Always Hope” just as the sun always rises, which leads into “No Victim” an ode to the need for stress to cause people to grow and not stagnant. The title track “The Longest Day” is a harkening back to the 60s almost, especially with the harmonization and is about trial by fire tempering the steel of resolve. It leads into the single “Magnificent“, which is the rolling love song. A blaze of guitar rings in “Not For Me“and a nice bit of what sounds like a Hammond organ in the musical break! The bleakness of the electronics and piano in “Another Way” in warmed up by the drums and hum of guitar which seems in complete juxtapose with the final track, “Love Is The Answer” unless you are looking at it from the view point that love will give you the ability to show others compassion. Rhombus are very emphatic that this is what can create more peace than hatred…and they are more or less right.
I have to say the the guitar work reminded me a lot of Gary Moore for some odd reason. That is a big compliment because Moore was an extraordinary player. Rhombus are very passionate about not only the music they play but obviously about what is happening in society and the world in general. That is a commendable thing in a time where it is easier to gain plays for cute songs than for political/societal observations.