SINGLE REVIEW: The Reversals – Long Night / Michelle

The Reversals

It’s a strange feeling hearing these songs again after so many years.  Back in 2007 or so I played bass in a local band called The Westminsters.  Whilst essentially a solo vehicle for Martin MacDonald, the live band also featured Scott Maynard on drums and occasionally Nathanial Hubbard on keys, both of whom were also in another fantastic Brisbane band, The Reversals.  I can’t count the number of Reversals shows I saw or even participated in during that period, but eventually The Westminsters turned into Son Of Sea and The Reversals slowly faded from view.

You may have heard of The Reversals before.  If you don’t remember them by name, you might recall their minor Triple J hit during the Australian Federal Election of 2007 – ‘Cotsello (Drunk At The Wheel)’.

But this isn’t about that song, it’s about what The Reversals have been doing since then.  I’ve been out of touch with the band for the last 5 or 6 years, and the debut album they had written and were in the process of recording all those years ago looked like it would never surface.

But here, in 2013, are the first two singles.

So has it been worth the wait?  On first listen these tracks wrapped around me like the embrace of an old lover after years apart; a little older, a little wiser, and better for the time spent growing up.  ‘Long Night’ is a steady, melancholy tune featuring Nathanial Hubbard’s beautiful croon over a guitar-heavy backing track.  The real surprise is the trumpet solo at the end, perfectly capping off a song that makes me want to sit alone in the dark with a candle and a bottle of red wine reminiscing…  “It’s been a long night / temptation setting in / It’s been a long night / look at the state you left me in”.

You can hear ‘Long Night’ here:

The latest single ‘Michelle’ is told from the point of view of an older man looking back fondly on a relationship from his youth.  The song begins with violin, before giving over to a pretty acoustic guitar figure, while Hubbard again shows off his impressive vocal range.  The track builds steadily throughout its length and features some intricate violin work in the bridge before falling away to a single strummed acoustic in the outro.


Looking back seems to be a common theme running through both of these songs, echoing my own feelings while listening to them.  The band have always walked the line somewhere between rock and folk, sounding like a more versatile version of Bernard Fanning’s ‘Tea & Sympathy’ than anything else.  If the world was a fairer place, The Reversals would be just as much of a household name.  They may not set the world on fire in 2013, but The Reversals will touch everyone who takes the time to get to know their music, and in the end that means a lot more.

Rating: 8 mended hearts out of 10

By: Clint Morrow

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