Long Winters Putting the Days to Bed

The Long Winters are the kind of band that are apparently very easy to overlook, like the middle child. Despite more attention being paid to their older, good looking label-mates (like Death Cab For Cutie) or the younger, weirder ones (like Starlight Mints), they have still managed to carve out a niche for themselves making good old-fashioned guitar pop. Yet not nearly enough people seem to notice and the world would be a much, much better place if everyone did. Putting the Days to Bed, the band’s third album, isn’t too much of a departure from its predecessors, but it is still a wonderfully rewarding record. John Roddick, the leader and the band’s lone constant, is in fine voice and his knack for writing sweeping, soaring pop tunes has not left him. And as always, there are enough unique touches to make his music stand out from the crowd — angular vocal yelps and unexpected instrumental flourishes that make every song memorable. This is the band’s biggest-sounding record in that most songs have a real anthemic quality. It is almost as if the Flaming Lips had left all their weirdness behind and gone rock instead of psychedelic. And that is where the Long Winters really excel — when it comes to catchy, enjoyable records, it is tough remembering a better one than Putting the Days to Bed. (Barsuk)