Olympia based folk-punk band Long Sought Rest, who headlined the 5/21 show at the Subrosa in Santa Cruz, recently released their second EP Sacred Objects.
Since their first release in 2017, the band has honed in on their unique niche in the folk punk scene. By combining the fast pace and anarchical chaos of crust punk with the occult-like mysticism of busker-folk, Sacred Objects shows that the band has crystallized what sets them apart from other bands in the scene.
The first song off the EP, “Neutral Ground” sets the tone for the subsequent songs with a few chords on the banjo paired with the warbling quiver of a singing saw that is sure to send shivers down your spine. The track continues to expand into a broad soundscape as an accordion and stompbox come into play, along with lyrics that match its instrumental allure and immensity:
“we center our personal struggles, use them as excuses to just check out, and we’re passed out in the neutral ground”
The next track off the release, “Rainclouds” harbors a far more upbeat tone that seamlessly captures the often intoxicated reality of busking and traveling as a form of escapism. The track is interwoven with more serious undertones, however, as the group points to internal turmoil as the driving force behind their transient lifestyle.
The grave messages that are sprinkled throughout “Rainclouds” become focal points on the following track “Whiskey Voice” in which the group laments their precarious forms of coping:
Long Sought Rest with River Rats
“even the freedom of movement is a goddamn cage we built of broken trust and trauma, we forgot how to feel safe.”
The band settles down for the title track “Sacred Objects” as the lo-fi recording of spoken word is distanced from the subtle strum of a banjo. The group seems to gravitate toward the concept of travel once again, however praise it not only as a form of escape, but as an attempt to satisfy their “unquenchable thirst for autonomy.”
The despondency of “Sacred Objects” is spilled onto “Bleeding Heart.” Through the ethereal sound of a fingerpicking, “Bleeding Heart” is an almost transcendental piece that exudes nostalgia, longing, and desperation.
The closing track, “Driftwood,” feels desolate, self-critical, and anguished. Despite the groups criticism of traveling as a lifestyle, the group seems to extol the transient nature of movement as a way to pacify themselves. “Driftwood” captures the allure of the accordion, the intimacy of the stompbox, banjo, and the occasional howl of a singing saw, making the album feel haunting, yet celebratory.
Ultimately, between the band’s paralyzing stomps, necromantic screeches, and desperate lyrical pleas for freedom and purpose, Sacred Objects is by far one of my favorite releases of the year.
Review by: Lily Nauta
Long Sought Rest at the Subrosa in Santa Cruz