Back in 2000, The Walkmen was fresh meat in the music market place. Fast-forward 8 years and no less than five studio albums and you’ve got a band that has proven to have staying power and music that’s as fresh as ever.
Jonathan Fire*Eater: Matt Barrick (drums), Paul Maroon (guitar, piano), and Walter Martin(organ, bass) and The Recoys: Hamilton Leithauser (vocals, guitar) and Peter Bauer (bass, organ) make up The Walkmen, but the superband is not merely an amalgamation of two bands’ fiery garage sounds. Instead, they craft out melodies melding brashness with a melancholic undertone that music critics have stamped with labels saying “indie rock” and “post-punk revival”.
Leithauser’s soaring vocals are reminiscent of a Julian Casablancas who’s smoked a few too many cigarettes, grittily holding steady against the light crashing of cymbals and heavy guitars, and lending an interesting juxtaposition to the tinkering of the piano in the background. Choosing to ditch newer technology like synthesizers for a more distinct lo-fi sound and vintage musical instruments like the upright piano, the band has been described as the Pixies and Velvet Underground meets Television.
Their latest offering You & Me takes a detour away from their previous excursions into swampier territory, a kind of The Stills meets Neko Case, but with the band’s signature drums withstanding. Among the key tracks are the saccharine ‘Red Moon’ and ‘DÃ³nde EstÃ¡ la Playa’ which starts off surly but quickly shirks off any moodiness before breaking into classic Walkmen stride – unapologetic and in-your-face.
Nevermind that The Walkmen’s first big break came on ubiquitous teen drama The OC. With critics and fans alike raving about their latest offering, it’s not just You & Me these days it’s a collective and all inclusive We.