The Walkmen – A Hundred Miles Off
Quantum mechanics seem to have been infused into the listening of latest album from The Walkmen, A Hundred Miles Off. It’s difficult to decipher the past, present or future. Even looking at one of their band photos, it feels as if it came from a history book, showing their fresh faces from decades ago, when if fact, it was taken within the last few years. It’s an odd experience indeed, highlighted by the Dylan-meets-Greg Dulli angst-ridden wails of Hamilton Leithauser and shallow hall echoes of “Good For You’s Good For Me,” or “All The Hands And The Cook,” which steadily simmer with a Hammond broth and tambourine-like drum splashes.
The use of vintage equipment contributes to their unique, time-traveling compositions, which also give an unintentional nod to past Brit-pop works, then travels all the way down the rabbit hole to the early years of British rock ‘n’ roll from the mid ‘60s (which could account for the ‘European sound’ references). A bit of Bowery punk rock rears its head on “This Job Is Killing Me,” shooting out like a volcanic eruption, making it a classic closing song on the set list. Saving one of the best for last is “Another One Goes By,” an all-terrain track fitting for a sunny day by the lake, a crisp fall drive through New England, or a rainy night’s walk through S.F.’s North Beach.
It’s evident that the band has put a tremendous amount of their soul into the making of A Hundred Miles Off. The five amigos solidified a formula that works, one that has been in the making for some now, and which has breathed new life into the world of indie music. Check out their website at www.thewalkmen.com where you can view a highly, highly welcomed departure from the cliché band press photo (if only some metal bands would dare to be so bold) and even the detailed contents of their tour van.
Speaking of the tour van, The Walkmen come to Denver this Monday, June 5, playing with Mazarin, Sybris at the Gothic.