Long Road Home – Are We Invisible? | Album Review

Long Road Home – Are We Invisible? 

SongCraft Records


11 tracks; 48 minutes

Long Road Home’s debut album, Are We Invisible? (2023), strikes as a powerful, guitar-heavy blues rock album, with occasional notes of jazz and soul. Strong lyrics permeate the album, with social consciousness, love, heartbreak, and hardship painted throughout in a release of entirely original material. 

The band formed in 2022, composed of friends who had toured and recorded together in different iterations since the late 1970’s. 

The opening track “Long Road Home” sets the tone of the album with a heavy, blues rock sound that harkens Stevie Ray Vaughan. Lee Morrell provides rock steady drums, while Steve Summers displays an impressive guitar solo, with muscle, and Mike Sebbage sings about “going from town to town”, making his way back to his lover. 

Among the strongest tracks on the LP, “What They Call the Blues”, starts with funky grooves and a lovely strangeness. Delicious guitar notes are simply delicious. The track slowly simmers, a clear raw expression from the soul that is smooth and goes down easy. Sebbage sings with emotion, “When you need somebody like a flower needs the sun, do you begin to wonder if it is the same for everyone?” Summers lets out inescapable moans and groans from the guitar, with blistering pace and feeling. 

Omnipresent drums take the lead on “I Don’t Belong Here”, with groovy guitar along the lines of early Red Hot Chili Peppers drenched in funk. Written by Sebbage and Summers, the song contains surreal lyrics, about not belonging and a “life turned upside down.” Ian Salisbury enters a realm of his own on keyboards, in a universe dominated by funk. Summers’ journey on guitar is no less strange and exciting. Morell, as elsewhere, provides a steady core on drums. 

The titular track of the album “Are We Invisible?” is an homage to the downtrodden and unseen, like the poor and the homeless. The keyboard and guitar project a slow, haunting groove as Sebbage proclaims “We are the people you cannot ignore. The ones you scrape up off the floor… are we invisible?” It is both a condemnation of how those with privilege and power act to the less fortunate (“I find it unforgivable.”) and a message of empowerment. The guitar and keyboards howl out in pain, as the band calls for people to “open up your eyes.” 

Sweet and savory guitar kicks off “Whispering Rain”, demanding attention on one of the best tracks on the album. Sebbage’s’ voice is never better than here, low scarred, and yet with a touch of sweetness, of honey, calling out “Whispering rain. Don’t come here no more. Stay away from my door.” This track serves patient, bubbling blues, with guitar accents throughout and Summers’ straining, wallowing voice, giving a forceful plea. 

“Gone Gone Gone” is the song of a broken hearted man learning to move on, after learning a lesson of love the hard way – “Your cheating ways brought me nothing but pain. You lie and steal… Now the time has come for me to live again.” Saucy keyboard accompanies buzzing guitar, creating a sound quite like the Black Keys at their bluesiest. 

Deep, gnarly guitar graces the beginning of “I Lose Again”. Salisbury’s keyboards are irresistibly groovy and Summers shows himself to be a guitar virtuoso in a distorted, thick style, with lots of texture. 

While not every song hits, and some come across as slightly cheesy or repetitive, Long Road Home delivers a solid release with Are We Invisible?, driven by heavy guitar, groovy keyboard, and authentic storytelling. The songwriting should be commended. Blues fans can only hope the group is working on their second release. 

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