06 October 2009

When thinking about the follow-up to Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone, it would be best to look at it like The Walkmen have built a house. Bows + Arrows is a house built by The Walkmen, two years after their first album. It got even more love from music critics than the first album, and records indicate that the songs were so buzzworthy that they were used in an episode of the overly-dramatic yet inexplicably popular teenage soap, The O.C.
This entire record boils down to "The Rat". The second track on the album, and quite possibly the best rock song of the last ten years. Seriously, this song is tremendous. In a nutshell, it's what the last ten years have sounded like. The drums are relentless, and the rest of the band never quits either. There are multiple walls of sound, yet the vocals are completely stripped. From a vocal stand point, it's totally bare bones. Maybe this is too self-revealing on my part, but the lyrics accurately pinpoint the feelings of disenfranchisement, confusion, and hopelessness that come with being at a certain age in a town you don't want to be in. This song comes through the speakers with a rush that rattles this house down to its foundation. Everything else is slightly off and shook because of this song. 

This idea comes from the internets, but the whole album may be a narrative of night out in New York City. It kind of bounces around. There are moments of more introspective thought, but there's also times when things are popping off. There's a reason that this band has managed to hang around. They have crafted a sound that gets people through rainy days and boring Saturday nights. But maybe, it's not for everyone. And that's fine, too.

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