This is a review of "Million To One EP" recorded by The Longshots. The review was written by Holden DeForge in 2004.
'Ex-Girlfriends' kicks off in incendiary fashion and sets the tone for the next eleven and a bit minutes of your life. A cool little guitar riff takes us through the first few bars, which is just enough for it to dig its claws in before a swoosh of its tail has us up up and away. Some tight, punchy orchestration works wonders and shows that The Longshots have actually thought out and structured this song (as they have with all four tracks) rather than just letting some good riffs and melodies go to waste. Vocalist Sy spits and snarls his way through the punk rock and roll tunes, backed up by plentiful backing. The band manage to retain a distinctly British sound too where a lot of young punk bands find themselves falling into the trap of Americanising their vocals. So hurrah for that.
'On The Inside' has some lovely "Woah oh oh" moments whilst 'Late Night Angel' displays that drumming can be simple yet varied. There's more nice stops, starts, drop ins and drop outs too, all topped off with a great guitar solo. 'Rule One' is a train wreck waiting to happen and has you holding on tight as The Longshots stomp on the accelerator with Sy the demented driver and drummer Dean the manic engineer shovelling coal on the fire.
Produced at House Of Mook by Phil Mayne and chief Detonator Phil Privelidge the CD has a nice dirty lo-fi sound to it. It sounds like a punk record should. You can hear everything clearly, the vocals stand out nicely but there's just that cool dirtiness to it all that makes the songs born to be played on the Peel Sessions. There are some good tunes here but mostly it's The Longshots' ear for arrangement that stands out. They'll write better songs than the ones here though, but when they do I think we can lower the odds somewhat.