Peter Matthew Bauer: Liberation! review – Walkmen bassist's mysterious solo album

(Memphis)

News of the Walkmen's "extreme hiatus" may have incited sadness in fans, but its members are far from done with their mission to spread dishevelled alt-rock to the masses. The group's third solo venture comes from former bassist Peter Bauer, inspired by his childhood living in ashrams, and musings on myths and religion.

Liberation!'s temperament is more delicate and ambiguous than its sparky punctuation suggests: Bauer mimics Arcade Fire circa Suburbs on Shaved Heads & Pony Tails, Deerhunter's Lockett Pundt on Philadelphia Raga, the War on Drugs throughout, and hauntings of his former group on Irish Wake in Varanasi (For Big Pete Devlin). The titles alone suggest there are chewy topics here – Scientology Airplane Conversation, for example – but with vocals often hidden in the mix and lyrics a little vague, its message is lost. It's a pleasing record, but much like its supposed subject matter, still a bit of a mystery.

Contributor

Harriet Gibsone

The GuardianTramp

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