The Walkmen Bows and Arrows

The Walkmen Bows and Arrows
Having surpassed the fable of doomed favourites Jonathan Fire*Eater, the Walkmen have become every bit as hype-worthy and beloved as the former band three members were part of. Their debut, Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone, was a majestic recording that made them the band to namedrop among indie scenesters tired of the Strokes’ simple fame. How exciting it is then that their follow-up, Bows and Arrows, is an even grander stroke, achieving the perfect balance of the band’s previously demonstrated studio sound (it was recorded before they ever played live) and their unique live theatrics. Recorded at both Easley-McCain Recording in Memphis and their own Marcata in New York, it shatters any preconceived notions that this band was part of any scene. The most obvious changes the band has made in the past two years is in the pace of their songs, as they’ve turned up the volume and let loose on tracks like "The Rat,” "Thinking Of A Dream I Had” and "Little House Of Savages.” Dominated by filtered guitars, their sound has also become as pristine as anything the Edge invented with U2 in the ’80s. Hamilton Leithauser is now demonstrating that he has come into his own as a confident lead singer with presence, delivering both a genteel vocal take on "Hang On Siobhan” and, at the other end of the spectrum, a full swagger on "My Old Man.” Interpol should take notes about how to pull off that tricky second album, because they don’t get any better than this. (Record Collection)