Posted by: will | June 29, 2006

The Walkmen…

The Walkmen “A Hundred Miles Off” (Record Collection)

NYC’s The Walkmen return with their third full-length album, A Hundred Miles Off. It was going to be interesting to see what direction the band would head in since their last album Bows And Arrows actually netted The Walkmen an appearance on the OC. Bows And Arrows most successful single “The Rat” was a furious song that stood out among the band’s more somber tunes. A Hundred Miles Off shows no signs of the band trying to recreate that magic though.

The band shows a little different look as the jumpy “Lousiana” leads off the album. The song is nicely flourised by horns surprisingly. It’s an ode of things to come as the album is a lighter and more upbeat affair than The Walkmen of the past. That’s not to say that some songs don’t echo the band’s flair for creating dramatic atmospheres though. The swirling organs of “All Hands And The Cook” is a testament to that. Hamilton Leithauser’s vocals eerily bring to mind Bob Dylan which I never really noticed before. “Don’t Get Me Down (Come On Over Here)” is a fantastic song that showcases the band’s talents. Catchy guitar and bass lines, the rich vocals of Leithauser and the always interesting percussion of drummer Matt Barrick come together in perfection. “Tenley-Town” is the only song here that comes close to the breakneck pace of the aforementioned “The Rat” off of Bows And Arrows. The soulful album closer, “Another One Goes By” (which is a Mazarin cover) is a fitting end to the album.

A Hundred Miles Off continues a fine musical career that The Walkmen have charted out for themselves. The band has created a recognizable, yet distinct sound. In this day and age that is quite a feat for any band. While A Hundred Miles Off might not live up to the brilliance of the band’s first two records, it’s certainly nothing to be tossed aside. I have a feeling this album will continue to grow on me the more time I spend with it. Usually, that’s how the great albums tend to unfold…slowly, but ever so surely.

RIYL : Interpol, Calla, The Strokes



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