Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jukebox: Demons- The National

If nothing else, The National have mastered the art of restraint. Matt Berninger's baritone vocals always sound like they're on the verge of breaking into a huge chorus or a soaring bridge, but they never do. It's a bit tantalizing, listening to The National, they go small where they could go big and their tempered approach to music perpetually fascinates but never completely satisfies. "Demons," the quartet's first song in three years, continues their tradition of being one of the most muted yet exciting indie bands around. All the classic elements of The National are here: the rock solid drumming of Bryan Devendorf, the understated layering of the mix- this time incorporating an influence of strings, replacing the piano suites of High Violet and Boxer- and, of course, Berninger's captivating voice. As always, it is the vocalist who holds us in place, hanging on every deliberately stressed word.

The lyrics show, perhaps, a shade of nostalgia from Berninger. He rehashes old imagery, the alligator, the buzzard, and admits that he's "secretly in love with everything that [he] grew up with." This sort of self-awareness is what we've always accepted; Berninger will artfully hint at his emotions and let the audience fill in the blanks. "Demons" is nowhere near as intricate or obscure as some of their previous, but maybe that's just part of the "awkward phase" Berninger finds himself in. After all, considering the band is 14 years into their career and Berninger is being brought down by his demons and they're still producing top-notch material, it looks like the slow-burning juggernaut that is The National will continue rolling. Look for their album Trouble will Find Me, due out May 20th.

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1 comment:

  1. They built off of conversation 16 and I guess me personally ....I was hoping for more lemonworld type stuff