MEANWHILES - The Nights Rewind

Meanwhiles - The Nights Rewind

9 songs
52:28 minutes
***** ****


You don't have to be a band to create awesome music. This point has been proven again by the brothers Josh and Todd Allen from the state of New York, who have chosen the name Meanwhiles to play their languid indie rock. I was warned already in advance that this would not be easy listening music, with the songs averaging nearly six minutes. And my first impression already showed promising if not too accessible songs. The opener Kinder is one of the harder tracks, and mind you, it's not as if this were coming from the rock'n'roll high school. The guitars are veering from Neil Youngish sadness to more distorted dream pop soundscapes, with a Josh Allen who sounds more melancholic than any thirty year old bloke should have a right to. Production has been in the gifted hands of Alan Weatherhead, who did already some remarkable work for Sparklehorse, so that parallels to Mark Linkous' art are obvious, although other indie alt Americana acts like Okkervil River or Wilco also come to mind. Highlight is the sprawling Wake In Place that shouldn't fail to move with its majestic string arrangements. On Middle Of Nowhere and Long Walk Home, you get Martha Wainwright (Rufus' sister) on background vocals.

The Nights Rewind is the kind of album you should put on repeat listening, giving the songs a chance to burrow deeply into the secret corners of your soul. The music is slow, sad and utterly moving, never resorting to kitsch and cliché. And although I can understand why the Meanwhiles are sponsored by a brewery (I'd like to be too), I still wonder why they give thanks to the NYPD in their credits. Still this is an amazing debut album from two experienced guys that should appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands.

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