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Ultimatum


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Amazon's The Long Winters Store

Music

Image of album by The Long Winters

Photos

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Biography

The Long Winters are:
Singer/guitarist John Roderick
Bassist Eric Corson
Drummer Nabil Ayers Keyboardist/guitarist Jonathan Rothman
Formed by guitarist John Roderick in 2001, the band was named by an offhand comment from Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) in reference to Roderick's years growing up in Alaska. The first Long Winters album was a recording project of Roderick, ... Read more in Amazon's The Long Winters Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 11, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Barsuk
  • ASIN: B000BB18IQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,655 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Commander Thinks Aloud
2. Ultimatum
3. Everything Is Talking
4. Delicate Hands
5. Bride and Bridle [Live]
6. Ultimatum [Live]

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Four brilliant new songs recorded in the studio are complemented by two live recordings of solo performances by frontman John Roderick. The band's first release since 2003's acclaimed album, When I Pretend To Fall, this EP is the preface to a new full-length due next year. Barsuk. 2005.

Amazon.com

Seattle-based smartypants rock group the Long Winters leap into a less indie-rock void on this excellent EP. Imagine a swarthier and keyboard-driven Death Cab, or a less mournful Eels wrapped up in Mellotron goodness. While some fans might still bemoan the lack of funnyman Sean Nelson's presence in the band, Laura Veirs' producer Tucker Martine helps Roderick achieve a new greatness. As Rodericks's charming and idiosyncratic voice becomes ever more central to the Long Winters' music, so do his lyrics. They're a beguiling combination of post-collegiate songster poetry ("Crave translates into slave, no one can harness the rain"), post-Pavement slacker nonsequitur ("The weight of this hairstyle's making me lazy") and post-marijuana sci-fi treatment ("I won't eat a machine / But what if it asks me? / What if it says my name?") The twenty-five minute EP ends with two tracks of Roderick performing solo. It's all pretty great. --Mike McGonigal

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Grant Balfour on October 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This EP makes me want to live in a place where seasons change and where every girl I've ever loved remembers me with the same kind of smiling sadness. Maybe it's the vintage keyboards or that 70s-ish singer-songwriter vibe that sort of encapsulates that feeling of nostalgia. Maybe it's the songs themselves.

There's a quality of sonic virus (the earworms, catchy, catchy earworms) about them -- enough so that you have plenty of time with the songs running through your head to puzzle out the lyrics (once you realize who the Commander is in "The Commander Thinks Aloud," I can guarantee you'll have to sit very quietly for a moment or two to collect yourself.

I did. And I want to do it again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By wellwellwell on October 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
So we didn't get a new Long Winters album in 2005.... Big deal. Get over it. Instead, we get this EP with four delicious, newly-recorded songs and two superb live performances from leader John Roderick. On this EP, The Long Winters--who have become one of my favorite bands since I found out *current* Harvey Danger singer Sean Nelson did backup vocals on their two albums--carry on the beautiful musicianship that was ever-present on their "acclaimed" albums 'The Worst You Can Do Is Harm' and 'When I Pretend To Fall'. And despite the fact that I don't really see either of these four new tunes ranking in my top ten Long Winters songs of all-time, they do however pose as a fine appetizer for their third, unnamed album, due out in early 2006.

The first track, "The Commander Thinks Aloud", is different than the version on the Future Soundtrack For America compilation (dubbed the 'future mix'). Here it is extended by over a minute, although the two songs are very similar, musically, and feature the same lyrics. The title track, a striking reminder of "Cinnamon", has some nifty guitar work alongside Roderick's patented, quirky lyrics. You could say it's classic Long Winters material; because it is. "Everything Is Talking" is notable for some catchy 'do-do-do's in the background and the 'I'll miss:' stanza. The final new song, "Delicate Hands", is likely my favorite on the EP. It's actually an early Western State Hurricanes (John's unknown first band) reworking, for whatever that's worth. The two live tracks are solo performances by Roderick, of "Bride And Bridle" and "Ultimatum". "Bride And Bridle" might actually be my least favorite Long Winters track among their albums; however, the brilliant drumlessness in its appearance here cause me to like it a bit more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Louise Brooks on October 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Um, yeah, it's an EP, so complaining about "Ultimatum" 's length is akin to whining that a novella is too short.

That said, the four studio tracks are haunting and spectral. If this version of "The Commander Thinks Aloud" doesn't break your heart wide open, you're already lying in a cold pine box.

The two live cuts showcase John Roderick's powerful voice and deft musicianship and will hook veteran Long Winters fans and newbies alike.

Rock this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By musicisart on June 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
the first time i heard the long winters was sitting in the passenger seat of my friend jim's car staring out the window along the king's county highway going back to downtown seattle. it was one of the most beautiful days i had ever seen. the sky was that perfect shade of pastel blue, quiet simple changes of white clouds played hide and go seek beneath the sun while pacific northwest emerald green trees and soft glimmers of faceless shadows in reflections of rear view mirrors followed. we were smiling, listening to KEXP loud and as always, the music just kept on making the moments even better. following the sounds of radiohead, modest mouse, eels... the long winters came on with the track give me a moment. everything quietly stopped movie-like with simple connections to the way sounds repeated motion. the music kept falling in line right in time synchronizing itself to every single little detail as if it were tracing the city skyline.

ive been away, ive been away

and ive been out of my head

....

the long winters bring to mind simple beautiful bittersweet memories to the feeling of seasons changing, the way old notebooks read full of fragile poetry, soft acoustic guitars create comfort sounds and those times when you cant help but feel anything except the colorful patterns repeating in yr mind taking over. sometimes its too much and sometimes it just makes sense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Wirt on October 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Ultimatum is EXACTLY what I look for in an EP... little wing-stretching. The EP is more of a step down an emotionally haunting road than the group's two previous LPs. Less rocktastic jangly songs... more sucker-punches to the heart (in a good way).

The four original tunes were fabulous, and once again showed John Roderick's mastery of lyrics. If I was half as good with words as Mr. Roderick, this review would be MUCH better.

The two solo tracks were a great add at the end. Fans of Bride and Bridle will be thrilled with this version.

Definitely a good pickup for anyone who loves good, thoughtful and fulfilling music. This should also help the fans awaiting the next LP get their fix.
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