Perhaps The Walkmen are forever destined to be the perfect example of a ‘nearly’ band; one that flirted outrageously with the mainstream, teetered on the edge of crossing over by having a relative sized indie-hit before then sinking back down to a comfortable level of regular semi-obscurity.
Many people may glance with a glossed gaze towards career highlight ‘The Rat’, a song that hangs like a dead weight round this quintets neck, and one that is, perhaps understandably, held back until the penultimate song this evening. Yet where sometimes anticipation can grow to an unhealthy level that sees the audience being enticed into a frenzied, panting glob before it’s gleefully put out of its misery, tonight, when the band’s ‘hit’ is finally unleashed, the reaction is subdued, because tonight the audience have already been firmly pegged back and happily molested by a legion of ear-friendly, wide-eyed songs of epic proportions.
This well stocked arsenal, consisting of brooding choruses and chilling vocals, offer the New Yorkers a chance to demonstrate why they may be one of the most underrated bands currently functioning, and if tonight proved anything, it’s that The Walkmen should be looked on with as much fondness as fellow city slickers Interpol.
By Nathan Westley
Originally published in issue 25 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. February 2011