Saturday, October 30, 2010
The Walkmen performing "Angela Surf City" on KCRW
The Walkmen are kings of dejection. For about decade now, they've turned their albums into symphonies of disappointment and resentment and regret. Their proudest moments, then, are also their most down-and-out. Their best song, "The Rat", is a world-weary, old-before-its-time rager, a song from a young guy seeing that he's already falling out of step with the universe and feeling pissed about it. Their second-best song, "In the New Year", sounds triumphant and optimistic at first, but on further listens it reveals itself to be as much a plea as anything else, a secular prayer that shit just please start working out right. The specific brand of desperation that the band conjures is miles away from, say, the throbbing, dread-laced depression of fellow dapper New Yorkers the National. The Walkmen are more theatrical and unwound than that-- they're the guys out in the middle of the street, screaming up at the sky, begging to know why everything always falls apart.