Tuesday, May 23, 2006

TBS Recommended: The Walkmen- A Hundred Miles Off

This isn't The Walkmen's career-defining record, but it is an excellent reminder that they are one of the better bands to come out of that whole early decade New York post-punk revival (The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). The album plays to the strengths that made the band's first two albums, 2002's Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone and 2004's superb Bows + Arrows, so compelling. Several tracks (the album opener, "Louisiana," and closer, "Another One Goes By," in particular) introduce a more subdued, "classic" aesthetic that was absent from the band's earlier work. For the fans of the bands more atmospheric "No Christmas While I'm Talking"-ish sound, tracks like "All Hands And The Cook" crest and swell around memorable melodies. For fans of the rock song, there are plenty of rock songs to be found. "Lost In Boston" could break this band to a mainstream crowd if it were marketed right (pray it isn't, one O.C. appearance and car commercial is enough) and lead singer Hamilton Leithauser's always-impressive vocal delivery hasn't sounded much better than on the chorus to "Don't Get Me Down (Come On Over Here)." Many (myself included) were expecting this album to be some sort of giant musical statement for the band, putting them in the upper echelon of the modern music scene. Expectations can be a bitch. This is nothing more than a great rock record from a great rock band. They're The Walkmen, not Radiohead. Only time will tell if the band can live up to their tremendous amount of potential. In the meantime, A Hundred Miles Off is a solid step forward and one of the better records to come out thus far this year.

The Walkmen- All Hands and the Cook

The Walkmen- Lost In Boston


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