Monday 28 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · The Walkmen don't sound like...

The Walkmen don't sound like anyone else, but band says it's only rock 'n' roll

Phil Bacharach October 1st, 2009

There is no mistaking The Walkmen for another band. With ragged melodies, vintage musical instruments, rattle-and-hiss production and caterwauling of lead singer Hamilton Leithauser, the quintet...


There is no mistaking The Walkmen for another band. With ragged melodies, vintage musical instruments, rattle-and-hiss production and caterwauling of lead singer Hamilton Leithauser, the quintet has forged a distinctive path in indie rock.

The New York-based band's output belies faint traces of many recording artists " Leonard Cohen, the Pogues and Joy Division, to name a few " but precious little feels derivative about The Walkmen.

It's surprising, then, that keyboardist Walter Martin downplays his band's moody, mesmerizing dissonance.

"I say it's traditional rock 'n' roll," said the 34-year-old Martin. "There's not a specific mood we're trying to evoke. I think the sound of the recording can give it that mood. We record everything live. There's a lot of room and atmosphere in the final product that we try to keep in, so I think that plays a part. It can make a happy song and a sad song have a similar tone to them. It just sort of happens."

The Walkmen formed in 2000, but its members " Leithauser, Martin, guitarist Paul Maroon, bassist Peter Bauer and drummer Matt Barrick " have been playing together for much longer. Martin, Maroon and Barrick started a rock band back in seventh grade.

Years later, they generated buzz, not to mention a $1 million DreamWorks contract, as three-fifths of the outfit Jonathan Fire*Eater. But that group failed to match its hype and eventually disbanded. The Walkmen evolved when Martin, Maroon and Barrick teamed up with Leithauser and Bauer, both formerly of Boston's The Recoys.

Martin said the musician's closeness provides a unique dynamic.

"We find the same sort of new things exciting for the same kinds of reasons, so when a new idea happens, it doesn't take that much to communicate to the other guys," he said. "We're excited about similar things, so that makes it easy."

Wary of the expectations that dogged Jonathan Fire*Eater, The Walkmen steadfastly resist being pigeonholed. Its 2002 debut garnered critical acclaim and a 2004 follow-up, "Bows + Arrows," produced a modest college radio hit with the raw-throated rocker, "The Rat." But then came a gloomier album, "A Hundred Miles Off," as well as a curious song-by-song cover of Harry Nilsson's 1974 LP, "Pussy Cats."

The Walkmen's most recent release, 2008's "You & Me," marks a significant progression in complexity and atmosphere. Drenched in reverb and rife with haunting mid-tempo ballads, it's the group's most evocative record to date.

"We wanted to clear out a lot of the clutter and make sure everything that happened was essential to the song," Martin said. "We let ourselves do what we wanted to do. Usually we feel a lot of pressure to do hard-hitting, fast songs. With this one, we decided to not worry about that, and sort of play the songs that we wanted to."

The group also did what it wanted to with its profits. The Walkmen devoted all initial proceeds of "You & Me" to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

"We were so glad that we were able to do that," Martin said. "If something like that could happen again, we would definitely want to do that."

The Walkmen perform at 8 p.m. Saturday inside Meacham Auditorium at the University of Oklahoma, 900 Asp in Norman. "Phil Bacharach

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