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Pussy Cats Starring the Walkmen

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Album Review

With all the attention lavished on one of New York's finest bands, the Strokes, surely this self-titled four-song EP from city-mates the Walkmen deserves a great deal of attention as well. Continuing in the fiery garage rock vein of Jonathan Fire Eater, key members from that band join a new vocalist in creating a jangling, bombastic art rock attack. Like the Strokes, whose Is This It? owes ample debt to Jonathan Fire Eater, the Walkmen seem to emerge from a heavy Velvet Underground slumber. But the Walkmen trudge a darker, more serious path, where influences ranging from U2, Pixies, and Television merge into a fractured, original beast. At 15 minutes in length, the only thing wrong with the The Walkmen is that it ends too soon. U2 comes to mind quite frequently, especially during "We've Been Had" and "The Crimps," but it's the sound of U2 as produced by Joe Meek in a neighbor's basement. Throughout the EP, the Walkmen jingle and shudder like elegantly wasted, plugged-in minstrels detailing city life gone wrong. The band's atmospheric shuffle is missing only the slightest bit of focus. Their moody sound calls only for a more defined lyric sheet or perhaps simply something to rage about. As it stands, they're caught ever so slightly in a crack between cocktail garage and fierce, anthemic rock. There's little doubt that the Walkmen are immensely talented, and this EP would seem to set them on a path toward greatness.

Customer Reviews

Best Week Ever?

With 'The Rat' being easily their best song in the midst of a hazy sophomore album I didnt think they would ever come back with another great mix of tracks. "Homesick Blues", "All My Life", and "Black Sails" are their stand out songs and will be on repeat until 2010. This could be their most well produced album.

These guys are good!

As a boomer who grew up listening to the Beatles, Lennon, and Nilsson, I have to say that The Walkmen have nailed the "period". Great drums and I love the piano especially on Don't Forget Me. My wife loves to hear me sing along with Mucho Mungo. And a tender rendition of Save the Last Dance.

Johnny would be proud.

The Walkmen articulate a Lennonesque feel with over the top production, keen wit and a sense of freedom. Songs such as "Many Rivers to Cross" and "All My Life" project a romantic diligence that Lennon was probably feeling through out 'the lost weekend', a brief period in 1974 when he and wife Yoko Ono split percariously for a 5 month period. Songs such as "Rock Around the Clock" and "Loop De Loop" offer nods to weekend binge drinking romps, while delivering an Animal House type backdrop. Songs such as "Don't Forget Me" and Save the Last Dance" can be sappy, but as a whole the the album is very cohesive and fun. A Walkmen fan's must have.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Walkmen feature three members from Jonathan Fire*Eater and two from the Recoys. When Jonathan Fire*Eater disbanded in 1998, the group took the remainder of their Dreamworks funding and established an uptown rehearsal space in New York City that doubled as a 24-track recording studio where they use a wide variety of vintage equipment. The 900-square-foot Harlem industrial space, dubbed Marcata Studios, was completed in the fall of 1999. (Bands that have recorded at their studio include labelmates...
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Pussy Cats Starring the Walkmen, The Walkmen
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