Candidate Waltz


Of the nine tunes on Centro-matic’s latest, only one, “All the Talkers,” really lets listeners in. It’s about an overhyped rock group winning over a roomful of seen-it-all hipsters. “But the band, they were not like the ones before,” sings Will Johnson, still a rock ’n’ roll true believer 15 years after founding Centro-matic in Denton, Texas. Johnson’s faith in guitar groups might stem from the fact that he fronts a terrific one. On Candidate Waltz he and the gang do wordy, sturdy Stones-Petty-Springsteen rock with an alt-country twang and twinge of anxiety. Even when Johnson’s vocals are warm and the riffs are at their loosest, Centro-matic preaches a gloriously convoluted gospel.

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