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4th Street Traffic - Long Way Round (Single Review)

Thursday, 18 November 2010 Written by James Conlon
4th Street Traffic - Long way round (Single Review)

Welsh rockers 4th Street Traffic have returned to release their latest single, ‘Long Way Round’, and let me be the first to warn you: it’s a loud one. From the first lingering chord, the band make it clear that they are not making concessions: they have produced a rock anthem which oozes nostalgia in every note, longing for the days when Lady Gaga was more interested in colouring in than acting like a pretentious berk.

‘Long Way Round’ was forged in the valleys of South Wales, and by the sounds of it, many a hiker must have had their peace disturbed. The song is an anthemic serenade to the likes of Bon Jovi, intended to be played live and loud. Fusing palm muted build-ups with a pounding back line, the song opens up to reveal an infectious chorus with more passion than a drunken snog in Paris.

ImageThe more misanthropic listeners might accuse the band of standing in the way of progression, sticking with a style of music which was discontinued around the same time as pink spandex and glam rock perms. However, the nostalgia is one of the key charms of 4th Street Traffic: The band blast out an in-your-face breed of old school rock riffs, packed with distortion and turned up to eleven, as it were. ‘Long Way Round’ is a prime example of a song which was written for the love of performance, and it comes across in the recording.

However, there are some chinks in 4th Street Traffic’s rose-tinted musical vision. Lyrically, with the constant “he said...she said...he said...she said..”, the song sounds (at points) more like an Eastenders monologue than an emotional outpouring. Some listeners may also find the odd metaphor tiring (“she said I tried to pull the knife from his back”), but that is, in a way, the point of it: there is undoubtedly a charm to the song which gives the finger (musically) to the self-proclaimed righteousness of modern lyricists. ‘Long Way Round’ is a track written for the smoky, booze-riddled pubs of the past, demanding fans to raise another glass rather than going home to write poetry on their blogs.

‘Long Way Round’ is released on 29th November.

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