If you’re into the disarmingly straightforward, upbeat rock of John Roderick’s Long Winters, you really ought to buy or download their new album, Putting the Day to Bed, which was released today. I’ll confess, I had some reservations after listening to their Ultimatum EP. You know how some bands are really hampered by the studio process, and only really come alive though the improvisational give-and-take of live performance? The Long Winters are not one of those bands. So the live tracks on the end artificially diluted the quality of the album, the version of “Ultimatum” managed to be both more stripped down and less focused than the one that shows up on Putting the Day to Bed, and on the other end, the version of “The Commander Thinks Aloud” was distinctly inferior to the cut that appeared on Future Soundtrack for America.
But PtDtB? Solid. I was lukewarm on the first listen, with one or two tracks showing a little promise. By the third spin, I was hooked (I think it requires headphones), and I like it more on each replay. Early fave out of the gate is “Sky is Open,” but I can tell I’m going to cycle through a bunch of them. Check it out.