Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Long Winters: Album Review

By Beth Mueller

What's in a name? The name The Long Winters screams to me: EMO BULLSHIT. STAY AWAY. STAY FAR AWAY!!! Luckily, The Long Winters meld together a myriad of influences on their new album, Putting The Days To Bed (out on July 25th), none of which really include emo.

You may remember the criminally overlooked Barsuk band from 2003's gorgeous album When I Pretend To Fall, featuring clever lyrics referencing international crime ("Blue Diamonds") and love lost ("Cinnamon"). Or from the fact that the band is every critics favorite offshoot from Harvey Danger. Though this latest outing doesn't feature anything as [annoyingly] catchy as "Flagpole Sitta," the album is a solid bout into Americana, pop, and indie rock territory.

There are plenty of good moments on the album—from the breezy opening track "Pushover" to uplifting chorus of "The Sky Is Open." But the best moments occur when the band does something completely unexpected. The moody, slow build up of "Teaspoon" ultimately explodes into a shiny, happy jam featuring a hard downbeat and an infectious brass section. "Rich Wife" sounds like any pop song, something that is offset by sneering lyrics about a woman who is "in love with someone you don't like." But it really is the rambunctious "(It's A) Departure" with its punchy guitar work, screaming choruses, and fantastic energy that is not to be missed.

MySpace: The Long Winters
Audio: "(It's A) Departure"


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