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splendid > reviews > 10/25/2005
The Long Winters
The Long Winters
Ultimatum EP
Barsuk


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Delicate Hands"

Buy me now
Long Winters songwriter John Roderick is all the better for his unassuming persona. With decadently produced, guitar-centric indie pop bands rocketing to hot shit status in the wake of Garden State, Roderick let this project -- one that could blow up if he bombarded us with EPs and iTunes exclusives every couple of months -- slip beneath the radar for the two years following its last full-length. Aside from turning down his amps a tad, Roderick appears to have changed very little during the band's downtime. He hasn't cultivated an antiquated alter ego or adopted any gimmicky concepts for Ultimatum, and he still prefers to pen honest, deceptively straightforward pop songs that deliver more than their apparent lack of ambition portends. He's about as down to earth as indie rockers come -- to wit, opener "The Commander Thinks Aloud" captures an astronaut romanticizing his return home, adorning images like "Boys and girls in cars / Dogs and birds on lawns" with spectral trails of space age Korg. Even the EP's two filler tracks, tossed-off live acoustic renditions of "Bride and Bridle" and the title cut, ably communicate Roderick's homebody vibe -- they're as comfortable and unpretentious as possible. The status quo rarely feels this fulfilling.


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