A sister Ep to 2011’s The King is Dead, this was the groups last effort before going on a long hiatus. This could be seen as the next step off of the high pedestal that was their sixth record. But I don’t believe Colin Meloy, lead vocalist, could have seen their popularity coming. After all, the years-long break the band took had several factors. What’s important to state here is the band’s sound. One of the most unique, unable to define certainly, you know The Decemberists when you hear them.
Much like the bonus tracks off of The Lumineers’ Cleopatra, the songs of this EP were meant for the main record but didn’t make it. Also similar to Cleopatra, Long Live the King is still full of, as the kids call them, absolute bangers. Released November, 11th (11/11 ;), critical reception was positive overall. Even Metacritic giving out a 66/100 score. The biggest highlight of this EP is the first track, “E. Watson”. A very powerful story with pounding acoustic guitar they are known for, this track has to be my favorite. A one-two-three structure for the chorus makes this a melody to get stuck in your head. Personally, I still cannot stop thinking about it, humming it all the time. The one piece missing when I do it is Colin’s powerful voice that carries this song. “I4U & U4Me” is a home demo that is very fitting on an out take piece like this EP. In all, this is a great farewell gift to us by The Decemberists before their years-long hiatus.
One of two black 10-inch records I own, this one has to be the most unique. I believe of all 10-inch EP’s out there, none compete a collection quite like this. The cover and inner sleeve are just as artistic as any of their albums, and also carries a specific theme that fits so well. Truly a power EP.