Candidate Waltz

Texas Platters


Candidate Waltz

"The mystery, the clarity/all the things I find," huffs Will Johnson on "Only in My Double Mind," a rusted stomp of bare-knuckle simplicity at the center of Centro-matic's 10th full-length. Consider it a summary of the prolific Monsters of Folk member's balancing act over the past decade, alternating between the iridescent avant-Americana of South San Gabriel and Centro-matic's ragged indie anthems. Having bridged this double-barrel mentality on 2008 SSG/CM split Dual Hawks, Johnson strips back Candidate Waltz, a taut collection of abstract portraits about interpersonal politics ("Estimate x 3") and trust broken over distance and time (haunting ballad "Shadow, Follow Me"). Johnson approached these nine songs from a position of discomfort, writing in isolation on his least familiar instrument, bass. Candidate Waltz therefore doesn't rip, but rather pulses, beginning with the one-two-three punch of percolating opener "Against the Line," bristling tour diary "All the Talkers," and the bouncy piano pop of "Iso-Residue," which stings like a Southern slant on Wilco's Summerteeth. Will Johnson can write himself out of any corner.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Centro-matic
Crazy From the Heat
Texas Platters go mondo

Doug Freeman, Aug. 8, 2014

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shots

Doug Freeman, Nov. 14, 2008

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Austin Powell
SXSW Music Spotlight: Ural Thomas & the Pain
SXSW Music Spotlight: Ural Thomas & the Pain
Portland soul singer gets his second act

March 11, 2022

Spoon’s Britt Daniel confronts <I>Lucifer on the Sofa</I>
Spoon’s Britt Daniel confronts Lucifer on the Sofa
Q&A on his return to Austin and making a real rock record

Feb. 11, 2022



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle