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The Long Winters 

Putting the Days to Bed

Wednesday, Sep 6 2006
The Long Winters have stayed in indie rock fan favor for so many years in part because of the dualities at the core of their music. Ringleader John Roderick's hefty, hearty vocal delivery helps his earnest poetics take flight above the rapid skyward trajectory of the Seattle act's melodies, yet he's also narrated some tragic tales over the years. The songs include arrangements that boast horn sections, dazzling keyboard lines, and a host of other musician pals crowding around the mikes, but the most poignant Long Winters moments conjure the sting of standing alone.

Putting the Days to Bed is the band's third LP, and it remedies some of the more extreme contrasts by evening out the moods. The tempo starts at a quick power-pop trot and rarely slips back into a more contemplative pace, as Roderick navigates personal affairs from various gender vantages. And while that makes for even warmer Winters sunshine, loyal fans may miss the mistier moments of the group's recent EP, Ultimatum. Its title track, with the crushed admission "I wish I could take it when you turn on me/ My arms miss you, my hands miss you," gets a speedier delivery on Days, robbing the song of its more complex sentimentality. A lightened load still makes for a solid collection of Long Winters material, but let's hope the band doesn't go further and eclipse that dark side completely.

About The Author

Jennifer Maerz


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