44 Long plays American-bred, melodic rock music, a unique blend of pop, glam, swamp, and heavy rock. The band relishes contrast and makes it come together, with the goal of having you feel like you just stumbled onto the best radio station ever. They conjure up the finest of 60's and 70's rock radio, and use it to put a spell on themes of the millennium - simultaneously hopeful and cynical; God-fearing yet given up to lone existentialism.
Their 1997 self released first CD, "Collect Them All" (now sold out), was a smash with record buyers, club-goers and critics in their native Portland, Oregon. It also garnered superlatives with monster tastemakers like CMJ, Puncture, ArtForum International, and Stereo Review, along with dailies and weeklies throughout the country. Rock journalist extraordinaire Greil Marcus, a longtime and current Rolling Stone contributing editor, dubbed it #7 of the year among his favorite things. In the Northwest, Seattle's Rocket magazine found a slot at #14 and The Oregonian at #3. All this and not one paid advertisement.
Their follow-up, 1999's "Inside the Horse's Head" (Sideburn Records) garnered similar praise and admiration from music buyers, musicians, and journalists alike.
Then 44 Long went on hiatus. But, they're back with 2006's "Hangover Heights Part 2". And, it is well worth the wait.
Singer/guitarist Brian Berg writes the songs and plays the majority of the instruments on the record (as well as engineering and producing the recording sessions). A record store clerk for 8 years, he was inspired by his big sister's Motown and his big brother's Brit-rock collections. His songs are well-crafted, deceptively simple yet articulate. The music conveys a love and respect for pop traditions, and the lyrics convey a sense of resignation tempered with hope.
The minimal yet muscular propulsion of the songs is a clue to the 'less is more' ethic employed by Berg and 44 Long. A rich, rocking sound doesn't always have to come from an orchestra of guitar overkill; sometimes what's left out is more important than adding another cliché.
"Hangover Heights Part Two" is a good time, a memorable rock record that recalls yesteryear, while living in the times. Expect nothing less.