Returning to the fray as fast, furious and frenetic as ever, The Longcut are back with both fists flying. Following their acclaimed debut album A Call And Response, the Manchester-based trio are set to release the follow- up, Open Hearts, on new label Melodic. There's been a shift to grass roots principals for this album: it was recorded in the band's Salford rehearsal room and produced by friend-of-the-band and Nine Black Alps guitarist David Jones, who brought "a fucked up pop sensibility." For a group whose reputation was built on blistering live shows, they set out to make an album that reflected the raw energy of their performances -and succeeded. This is the rough-edged, vital, visceral sound of a band at the peak of their powers. It's still undeniably The Longcut - Stuart's shamanic howls, Jon's crunching bass and Lee's hypnotic guitar are all in place - but it's fresher, trimmer and more focused than ever before. Lyrically, it's upbeat, happier, lovestruck even, but with that weighty sonic sucker-punch behind it to counter-balance the sugar.