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20
3.9 out of 5 stars
Bows + Arrows
Format: Audio CDChange
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Walkmen were formed in 2000 in New York and ever since have made a name for themselves for being rather volatile but beautifully distinctive at the same time. There first album in 2002; Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone is in itself an exceptional debut by anybody standards, but the follow up for me in 2004 was even better.

Bows + Arrows was released on Warner subsidiary Record Collection in February 2004, it very much crosses a divide between Indie music and the time when having an organ and a growly vocalist meant you were likely to be dangerous to society. That said, the moments of high energy on this LP are not as frequent as the bands hit single from the album might have suggested. Instead the album mostly follows a sweet and atmospheric path.

The album begins with What's In It For Me, a charming song, the kind of song that is good for the soul, lovely stuff. This is in stark contrast to track two, the song which probably sold the album in the first instance; The Rat is a proper modern great, a right stomper filled with angst and bitterness in a kind of non spoilt Emo way, in closing it is fabulous but I feel it does harm the album somewhat.

The Rat maybe an Indie anthem for the millennium, however I feel it does prevent further exposure towards the other, more mellower gems that can be found on this album. Take track six for example, 138th Street or Hang On, Siobhan, as songs they are so unassuming and subtly radiant, it's a shame that The Walkmen are pigeon holed and famed for music which is entirely different.

If niceness isn't for you and you want more of the growls and sneers from lead vocalist Hamilton Leithauser, than there is some fine moments of that kind of thing scattered throughout this LP; Little House of Savages is as angry and dreamy as they come and one of my favourite songs from the past decade can also be found on this album; the belting Thinking of a Dream I Had, with its perfect use of mood and energy.

Granted this album is famed mainly for the marauding song The Rat, however if you delve deeper the album suddenly becomes a fascinating piece of work, instead of being an average Indie album I find it to be one of the most stark and striking albums from the past decade, bringing atmosphere to the 2000's, certainly worth a look in my humble opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2012
As an obsessive Strokes fan, I haven't found many bands that could come close, but I would say that if you like the Strokes then you should like this. I happened to hear 'The Rat' on the radio and had to try out the album. The singer has a unique voice which I really liked and the sound can be both intense and melodic. There is some great songwriting on this album. I found that there were some very strong similarities with the Strokes second album onwards and also Vampire Weekend who seem to have picked up a few tips off this album. This band could be huge if more people knew about them.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2004
An extraordinarily fine album ...strange and wonderful church organs and bar room pianos combine with a noo york garage aesthetic to produce a unique haunting and powerful sound - Imagine a band consisting of Tom Waits, Television and early U2 and you're somewhere near the mark - the single 'The Rat' although not really typical of the rest of the album is a screaming anthem worthy of a place in any all time top 10 list of punk songs ...Other tracks like 'Whats in it for me?' 'Thinking of a Dream' and the blistering 'Little House of Savages' will burrow themselves under your skin and stay there, demanding repeated listens....and to top it all they are a completely mind blowing live band...buy this album and catch them on tour this spring/summer...you will not be disappointed..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2014
The whole album is pretty average, but The Rat stands out as being one of the best songs of the decade as far as I am concerned, though.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Ah man, have you heard "The Rat" yet? You probably will do. Most likely 700 times over the next few months, if of course the Walkmen manage to repeat the success of their New York brethren the Strokes. That is to say, this is the best album I've heard this year, which is in itself is a fine compliment to the best song this year. It barley rocks like the aforementioned anthem but it does subtle like nothing say, Coldplay could hope to achieve in their "ambient" moments. It's all the more memorable that it builds on the excellent but flawed debut by adding consistency and layers whilst still jumping from heavy to light in mood. The superb bass and drums interplay with each other perfectly giving rise to the raspy vocals and guitars. Seriously, I have no idea how the whispery "What's In It For Me" can comfortably sit alongside "The Rat" in the listing and still sound transistent.
Although sitting below the brilliant Interpol, The Walkmen have managed to climb atop New York rock's current lofty heights. I'm probably being a tad clichéd in saying that if The Strokes were New York's equivalent of the big bang, then what followed was an ever expanding universe of inter-galactic talent and the Walkmen are one of its brighter stars
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on 7 June 2008
4 years i have been listening to this album and it is still fantastic. Lots of depth. Unusual and strange - The Walkmen plow their own furrow. Get this album and enjoy the ride.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2004
I was first introduced to this band after seeing the video for their single "The Rat" on MTV2. After picking my jaw off the floor, I immediately rushed out to buy the album on the strength of that song alone. After listening to "The Rat" over 50 times now, I am struggling to pick a song in history that is better than it. It is certainly the song of the decade thus far.
As for the rest of the album, if you are buying this expecting the whole album to sound like "The Rat" then you may end up being a little disappointed. The majority of the album, like their debut, consists of slow, moody, atmospheric songs. Only on the second single "Little House Of Savages" do we get anything that resembles the tempo of "The Rat". However the rest of the album although different to the singles, is equally as fantastic. The mixture of guitars with the organs is something quite unique, and helps to give the album the moody atmosphere that is it's key. Some of the songs almost resemble something that Sigur Ros would release, only with English vocals instead.
This album will take at least 10 listens to "get". Once you give it 10 listens though you will see that this album is quite stunning. Their mood and intensity almost reminds of Joy Division. Something that I think only fellow New Yorkers Interpol have been able to recreate in recent years. For once this is a band who live up to the hype, and the album lives up to the hype equally as well. Forget the hype that surrounds New York's other band The Strokes. Unlike their album, this is it!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2004
I read a couple of good reviews of this album recently (8/10 and 9/10) and after buying it I have to agree with them. This album deserves all the praise it gets. It has some sublime emotional music on there as well as some fine rock tunes. The first two tracks alone are magnificent. Well done, lads!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2004
An extraordinarily fine album ...strange and wonderful church organs and bar room pianos combine with a noo york garage aesthetic to produce a unique haunting and powerful sound - Imagine a band consisting of Tom Waits, Television and early U2 and you're somewhere near the mark - the single 'The Rat' although not really typical of the rest of the album is a screaming anthem worthy of a place in any all time top 10 list of punk songs ...Other tracks like 'Whats in it for me?' 'Thinking of a Dream' and the blistering 'Little House of Savages' will burrow themselves under your skin and stay there, demanding repeated listens....and to top it all they are a completely mind blowing live band...buy this album and catch them on tour this spring/summer...you will not be disappointed..
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on 10 September 2014
Great CD great price fast delivery
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