Portland, and Oregon in general, has proven to be a loving home for many post-rock bands. Grails, This Patch of Sky, Coastlands, Paleons, the list goes on and on. Surely it must be tough going to be recognized in such a large scene, and having a 3 year gap between albums doesn’t help. However, I believe with The Way Home, Long Hallways has crafted a sound that should be heard.
First off, I want to state how impressed I am at the accuracy of the title ‘Crystal Forest’ because it’s the only thing I see when I listen to this track. It’s dense with trees of earthen texture and as expansive as your mind will allow. It adeptly sets the stage for the remainder of the album and its ethereal strings, small electronic touches throughout, airy guitars, and cinematic drums. The instrumentation is very solid, making for consistently enjoyable listening.
While the middle three tracks are solid, the guitars seem a bit generic at times with tremolo and delay. But this last track! ‘Elegy Too Many’ is going down as one of my all-time favorite post-rock tracks, and it’s undoubtedly my favorite track of the album. It feels heavily inspired by This Patch Of Sky’s propensity for the cinematic flair with strings and keys up front in the spotlight, drums in the distance, and guitars fading in and out. It’s like a living breathing track.
Despite the rough patch in the middle, my love for this album is strong. Indisputable talent on the musicians part, strong writing and composition, and did I mention that this album was recorded and mixed by Coastlands’ own guitarist, Jason Sissoyev? You would be doing your ears a disservice by skipping this album.