The Long Winters

The Long Winters

The Long Winters

Putting the Days to Bed

Barsuk

The third record from Seattle’s The Long Winters is as fine a collection of short, punchy indie rock tunes as you could find in 2006. Lead songwriter John Roderick’s off-kilter lyrical sensibilities and occasionally oddball vocals are offset by an almost unerring sense of melody. It’s a combination that should appeal to fans of bands like The Shins and Death Cab for Cutie.

“Unkind girlish walk/ Like a deed to the world without the talk,” Roderick sings enigmatically on the harmony-laden opener “Pushover.” The bouncy “Fire Island, AK” is chock full of Roderick’s tasty guitar licks and personality-filled vocals. And on “Teaspoon,” The Long Winters prove to be one of the few bands that can make a one-word chorus (of the song’s title) interesting.

The album’s mid-section is a tad more problematic, though it’s never unpleasant. It’s hard to tell what Roderick is going on about on “Hindsight,” which wanders a bit musically without much of a sense of purpose. And music and lyrics don’t quite mesh on “Honest,” a song about a young girl who falls in love with a singer, despite her mother’s admonitions. Still, as such, it’s one of Roderick’s more conventional lyrical constructs.

The intriguing “Sky is Open” is told from the perspective of a retired Air Force pilot. “I’m finally the highest bird,” Roderick sings. “Clouds” includes a number of interesting turns of phrase including “We’re a kiss away from being dangerous” and “Don’t try to write your name in the clouds from the ground,” but also this head-scratcher: “Vinyl-clad architects with GPS/ Staple-gun carpenters building a 3-D mess.”

But the band’s just getting warmed up, as it turns out. “Ultimatum” puts their whole indie rock aesthetic together with organ, some nice guitar work, and sweet harmonies. “My arms miss you, my hands miss you/ The stars sing, I’ve got their song in my head,” Roderick sings. And “(It’s a) Departure,” with Eric Corson’s driving bass line and Roderick’s power guitars, is likely to make you want to put the song on repeat and jump around the room until you run out of energy.

Putting the Days to Bed is one record that never wears out its welcome. Don’t let this overlooked gem of 2006 pass you by.

The Long Winters: www.thelongwinters.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples
    Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

From the Archives