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TimeOut New York, 5-12 June 2003, by Scott Schinder

    In an indie-rock scene currently dominated by self-absorbed whiners, John Roderick, leader of Seattle's Long Winters, is a refreshing find. The late-blooming Roderick - who previously led the acclaimed but ill-fated Western State Hurricanes and toured as keyboardist with the one-hit alt-popsters in Harvey Danger - writes spare, spiky lyrics that portray the workings of troubled and contentious relationships while illustrating the narrator's own character flaws, omitting just enough specifics to give his scenarios a compelling poetic unease.
    The Long Winters' 2002 debut, The Worst You Can Do Is Harm (Barsuk), was so effective lyrically that it succeeded despite the hook-deprived drabness of the music. Fortunately, on the just-released When I Pretend To Fall (also on Barsuk), Roderick and coproducer Ken Stringfellow (of Posies/R.E.M. fame) raise the stakes with expanded arrangements. The album merges punchy rock dynamics with subtly deployed keys, horns and strings, lending texture, soul and fun to memorable tunes such as "Scared Straight", "New Girl" and "Prom Night at Hater High".
    Always a darkly charismatic performer, singer-guitarist Roderick is accompanied on this tour by Nelson on keyboards, Eric Corson on bass and Michael Shilling on drums. The new albums' more-focused vibe has reportedly been reflected in recent live performances, all the better to seal Roderick's status as one of the undergrounds' most intriguing songwriters


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