The Walkmen - Bows + Arrows

The Walkmen
Bows + Arrows

(Record Collection)

First Appeared at The Music Box, May 2004, Volume 11, #5

Written by John Metzger


When We’ve Been Had was utilized to sell automobiles, The Walkmen received some much needed attention, yet this still wasn’t enough for the ensemble to be heard above the din made by the many other garage-rock outfits that seemed to be surfacing at an exponential rate. Fans who latched onto the group’s debut Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone might feel that the band somehow was cheated out of greater exposure, but in the end, a slower growth curve might be just what the doctor ordered. After all, The Walkmen still seems to be searching for a comfortable beginning. Where its debut was charged with experimental rock, which sometimes served to undermine its pop sensibilities, its recently released sophomore effort Bows + Arrows is a decidedly tighter, more focused affair, but in the end it suffers a similar fate. Though guitar, bass, and drums frequently combine to form the type of jangly thunder reminiscent of early U2 — a notion that is only enhanced by frontman Hamilton Leithauser’s Bono-esque articulations — the collection just doesn’t coalesce into anything more than a zealous but largely dull re-working of a 20-year old formula. starstar ˝

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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2004 The Music Box