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The National

"Bloodbuzz Ohio"

[4AD; 2010]

By ; May 24, 2010 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

I note three landmark tracks on Boxer. “Fake Empire,” the rainy opener and wide-eyed introduction to the big city lights. “Mistaken for Strangers”, the sudden anthem, the mighty wall around the fortress. And “Slow Show,” the heart of Boxer at its most bare. “And though I dreamed about you, I missed you for 29 years before I saw you.” It was both the most simple moment on the album and the most potent, cutting deep gashes in the heart of the city Matt Berninger had thus far only poked at. Enter “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” the beating heart of High Violet and most alarming insight into the psyche of the album. “I still owe money, to the money, to the money I owe. I never thought about love when I thought about home.” The National again deliver an unassuming, low range melody as the centerpiece and chief representative of their album, and once again it resonates with gripping clarity. This time however, it isn’t stripped down to Berninger’s bare lament. “Bloodbuzz” towers and pulsates, pumping a flow of orchestration that is the lifeblood of High Violet. This ever present flow pushes and pulls, kneading the song and circling Devendorf’s cathartic drumming like the room after three too many drinks. It’s just as easy to become intoxicated by the rise and dive of the brass as it is to become enthralled with the oddly uplifting lyrics.


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