Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Walkmen - Lisbon

Release Date: September 14, 2010

★★★★★ Tracks:

Angela Surf City

Blue As Your Blood

Woe is Me

Now on their 5th proper full length, with a variety of additional songs and a cover of Nilsson's Pussy Cats record in between, the longevity of the Walkmen in the era of digital music is truly phenomenal. Often grouped in with garage rock revivalists the Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Walkmen have outlasted and outproduced their Brooklyn brethren by a large margin. Sure, the Walkmen might not have a record as influential as Is This It or a personality as big as Karen O’s, but their entire body of work far surpasses that of either of those bands.

On Lisbon the Walkmen continue to tinker, drawing influences from 60’s surf rock while revisiting the sound they produced on A Hundred Miles Off. Paul Maroon’s guitar leads the charge, and he expertly invokes a hazy, lazy, summery feel to most the record with a heavy dosage of clean-tone electric guitar, adding a lot of chorus and reverb effects, and often plucking his notes at a slight delay to the pace of the rest of the music.

Songs “Angela Surf City” and “Woe is Me” are surf rock stand-outs, and there is a great do-wop throwback in “Torch Song," but the theatrical “Blue As Your Blood” is the most impressive track here; the Latin-tinged instrumentation gallops alongside Hamilton Leithauser’s lyrics of a Spanish lover in perfect unison.

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