Amidst the propulsion of The Kings of Leon to previously unknown and unpredicted fame – on this September morning, The Walkmen’s new album seems more relevant than ever.
The New York three-piece demonstrate all the coarse rock of Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club, with the profound impression of a largely vintage check shirt toting band, as their dissatisfied rural sound grinds over each track.
Hamilton Leithauser’s gritty country rock vocals on songs like ‘On the Water’ convey a believable sense of blues, as the band’s maturity – 5 albums in – sets the bar that little bit higher and separates them from the rather wet-behind-the-ears in comparison, Followill family.
The harsh bass and post-punk guitars that previous albums have embodied are not thrust onto the listener in such an unavoidable way with the fourteen track ‘You and Me’, but the band’s trademark sound is still at the forefront.
Although The Walkmen’s country sound does fit in well with the scene of Autumn- as cowboy boots and Topshop’s tartan shirts hang from countless fashion conscious students- despite their clear talent, it is rather likely that their disgruntled sound will tend to grate on more optimistic ears.
Yet, if you like your traditional rock and are partial to a bit of a country blues – The Walkmen’s latest album is indeed worth a listen.