Bruised, beautiful no-wave angst from NY underground
Venerated by their New York peers since forming from the ashes of Jonathan Fire*Eater in 2000, at full pelt The Walkmen, like The Strokes, appear in harmonic pursuit of the ultimate chugging post-punk chord change. Unlike The Strokes, thankfully, they’ve a third dimension above and beyond clotheshorse cool. This brawnier follow-up to 2002’s muted Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone is sodden with emotional profundity. It’s there in the titles (“No Christmas While I’m Talking”), the tunes (“Little House Of Savages”, like the clattering coda of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” looped ad infinitum) and not least the bilious rasp of singer Hamilton Leithauser (wouldn’t Casablancas just kill to have penned a complex, self-loathing hate rant as spectacular as “The Rat”?). If it’s Franz Ferdinand’s ambition to make girls dance then it seems as if The Walkmen’s rightful responsibility is to make girls cry. Bows And Arrows should, by the bucket.