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Peter Matthew Bauer
Liberation! - MEXICAN SUMMER
FILTER Grade: 82%

By Sarabeth Oppliger on July 1, 2014


Peter Matthew Bauer

Much like the rugged, yet refined quality he brought to The Walkmen, Peter Matthew Bauer’s debut solo album has that sort of grit you want to plunge your hands into. Brushed drums and colorful spreads of reverb paint Liberation!, modestly complimenting trills of Petty-esque vocals. The lyricism, according to Bauer, aims to confront that paradox of finding light within seemingly endless darkness. While the album spawned from Bauer’s Hinduism and his childhood growing up in various ashrams, the spiritual influence on Liberation! is still rather light. A dash of otherworldly sounds give the otherwise good album that extra oomph on tracks like “Istanbul Field” and “Philadelphia Raga,” but the album bleeds more indie-punk blood than anything else. While it strays slightly from that characteristic Walkmen punk-and-pop infusion, it’s just enough to hold us over until the boys (one day?) reunite after their self-described “pretty extreme hiatus.”

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