Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording by Ian Harris, Video By Jake Lyle, Words by Landon Kuhlmann
The night before Long Neck filmed this Daytrotter session I had the absolute pleasure of playing a show with them in Cedar Rapids at a small DIY venue. The turnout was small but it was all the better for the people who were there because they got to experience this group in a uniquely intimate way. Now all of you get that pleasure as well.
One of the first things you might have noticed about this group is their personality, which explodes off the screen and is even more infectious in person. Coordinated dance moves and comradery between the band members add so many levels of enjoyment to their shows that many stoic, I'm-too-cool-to-smile rock bands miss out on. You don't have to be ultra-serious to be taken seriously. They're also one of the only bands I've ever seen that can pull off good banter between songs—it's kinda their thing, and it's great.
Long Neck are riding the top of the guitar-centric indie rock wave. The size of that wave, though, is in flux. In a time when bands like Tame Impala are playing out the windows of every college dorm and Fall Out Boy haven't strummed a six-string in what seems like decades, Long Neck refuses to put straight up rock music on the shelf and let it age all alone, out of the spotlight. This is the type of rock music that kicks you in the gut but you love the pain. It doesn't pull any punches and can still be a load of fun.
There are a ton of badass "f*** you" moments in their music, as in the lyric "I need you like a horse needs a break in its leg," but they're followed up with steady-handed and tender contemplations on romantic relationships and friendships. The group uses metaphor and stark realism to their extreme benefit.
In the small venue in Cedar Rapids that night, it was difficult to hear Lily's vocals lucidly above all the instrument sounds bouncing off the walls. Here in this session it's clear as day and adds the perfect texture to their tone of rock. They're a band who brings their recorded album experience to the live stage, and they thrive on consistency.
After the show, we were all talking genres together when the group bemoaned the fact that they're constantly being labelled as "bedroom pop," or some similar phrase. Men label them in this way because of their female singer, the band said, which is obviously sexist and also a wildly inaccurate label. Bedroom pop is often lo-fi and subdued. Long Neck is undoubtedly a rock band in one of its purest iterations.
In short, this is a band whose overall effect transcends the music.
At the end of the night I begged them to tell me their secret on good stage banter. It's something I've tried in many different bands but only rarely succeed in. They all laughed and looked at each other.
"We just never shut up."
Long Neck Official Site