Nearly thirty years after turning critics on their ears with their dandy debut album One Kiss Leads To Another, Hackamore Brick returned to the fore with Long Way Home. The comeback release, although it retains the spirit of what went before, is no repeat performance. And that’s quite alright, as it shows Tommy Moonlight and Chick Newman, who are original members and songwriters of the New York band, have both the courage and talent to listen to their hearts and not worry about the public’s expectations.
Far more commercial, but not in a slick and calculated way, than Hackamore Brick’s past ventures, Long Way Home is a rock solid pop affair. Joining Tommy and Chick is drummer Robbie Biegel, and what a taut unit they are. The enthusiasm flows, the energy is raw and natural, and it sounds like the trio had a lot of fun laying down this six track disc.
Constructed of jittery and jogging rhythms, a couple of tasty and tugging breaks and a series of interesting melodic shifts, “I Can’t Get High Enough” captures the band’s imagination with each and every note and chord, while the piano-dominated “Where It All Began” produces a big and bold finish, stressed by the type of zesty flourishes and gripping arrangements found in Billy Joel’s early missives. A strong Joel influence additionally materializes on “Going Around Together,” and then there’s the sparkle and spunk of the country flavored power popping “Hurry Back Home,” and “When I Get Home,” a pretty ballad rich with emotion.
The vocals are sturdy and assured, the hooks are defined and placed in all the proper settings, and the playing is well-oiled but loose enough to allow for room and space. How great it is Hackamore Brick is still a going concern, and hopefully they plan to release further recordings soon. Spiffy and snappy tunes are always welcome, and as confirmed by Long Way Home, Hackamore Brick possesses no shortage of such magic.
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