The Walkmen: Hamilton Leithauser (vocals, guitar); Paul Maroon (guitar, piano); Walter Martin (organ); Pete Bauser (bass); Matt Barrick (drums).
Recorded at Marcata, The Magic Shop, New York, New York; Sweet Tea, Oxford, Mississippi; Easley-McCain Studios, Memphis, Tennessee in 2003.
Personnel: Hamilton Leithauser (vocals, guitar); Paul Maroon (guitar, piano); Walter Martin (organ); Matt Barrick (drums).
Audio Mixers: Stuart Sikes; The Walkmen.
Recording information: Easley-McCain Recording, Memphis, TN (04/2003-10/2003); Marcata Recording, New York, NY (04/2003-10/2003); Sweet Tea Studios, Oxford, MS (04/2003-10/2003); The Magic Shop, New York, NY (04/2003-10/2003).
Photographers: Anna Leithauser; Andrew Winslow.
A rock revivalist opus similar to those by the Strokes and Stripes, the Walkmen's sophomore effort is a genuine rock "album" in the traditional sense: each song is unique to the others and it all fits together as a cohesive work of art. Instant classics include "The Rat," with vocalist Hamilton Leithauser screaming out with so much lonely rage that two tracks later (on "Little House of Savages"), the shredded walls of his throat fall away like rocket boosters fueled by Matt Barrick's long, flying drum-fill of a beat.
Mellower tracks "138th Street" and "Hang on Siobhan" provide ample evidence that these boys are long-lost heirs to the Mott the Hoople / BLONDE ON BLONDE-era Dylan throne. U2 comparisons are also borne out with the riffs of guitarist Paul Maroon and the thudding drums of Barrick. Add some Yo La Tengo-esque organ and it's like seeing a lost love in the face of a first date--exciting and new, yet warmly familiar.
Entertainment Weekly (2/6/04, p.139) - "[BOWS AND ARROWS] not only features their best work but manages to crack open a few new windows in the generally restrictive garage-rock revival....[It] reveals a band that's grown tighter, hungrier, and more varied since last time." - Rating: A
Uncut (5/04, p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[S]odden with emotional profundity....If it's Franz Ferdinand's ambition to make girls dance then it seems as if The Walkmen's rightful responsibility is to make girls cry."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[A] shimmering, sugar-plummy assortment of music-box chimes and old-timey saloon piano adds just enough tinsel-strewn whimsy..."