Release Date: May 23, 2006
Record label: Record Collection
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Shaking off the wintry fog of Bows + Arrows like a parka come springtime, the Walkmen return with A Hundred Miles Off, an album of lighter, brighter songs that still maintain the band's fantastic sense of atmosphere. The Walkmen's odd, endearing ability to be noisy and nuanced, belligerent and bittersweet at the same time made Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone and Bows + Arrows two of the most distinctive-sounding albums of the 2000s. Here, they tweak a few elements of their sound, and while it's not a radical overhaul, the differences are significant.
The day Bob Dylan went electric may have been hell for some, but it was a magnificent musical year zero for New York City's the Walkmen. The group, who record only on analogue equipment and make a point of playing vintage instruments, craft indolent time-warp rock. Their third album takes modern electro and makes it sound like it's being played by a late-60s garage band, to wonderful effect.
Sometimes things just have a way of working themselves out. Take the Walkmen, for example. The five of them -- all best buds from the same prestigious D.C.-area private school -- head on up to New York City and start a couple rock bands: the infamous Jonathan Fire*Eater and the anonymous Recoys. Both of them break up for unrelated but familiar reasons -- Jonathan Fire*Eater's major-label contract and the Recoys' lack thereof -- and the old crew decides to pick up the pieces and form a five-piece in a self-built studio in Harlem before anyone starts talking day job.