Sunday, June 11, 2006
another one goes by



The newie by the Walkmen seems to be splitting old fans; either it's their best work or their worst. While I still think its a decent enough album, count me in the latter group. I absolutely love Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone and was pretty amped on Bows & Arrows, but this seems like some sort of almalgamation of the two, minus the staggering highs that set apart its two predecessors. A friend of mine, who thinks it's their best work, remarked that it was "their most consistent record." I don't dispute that. The thing is, it seems to be consistentally average. It doesn't help that one of the three stand out tracks is a cover.

The headliners clearly have a great deal of admiration for Mazarin, seeing as they put their afermentioned cover of "Another One Goes By" on their latest long-player, but the pairing is going to leave more than a few fans mistakenly wondering why "the opening band is covering the Walkmen." Unfortunate also, that live, the band's combination of melodic pop and swirling fuzz ends up sounding an awful lot like the headliners. Maybe it was sound issues, but last night the atmospheric fluorishes that pervade their recorded material overshadowed the actual songs; everything was sort of drowned out.

The Walkmen have always been hit or miss live for me. There are always great moments, but sometimes the whole is a little underwhelming. The first time I saw them I remember coming away pretty amazed, but the last time I checked them out they opened with "the Rat," tore everyone's heads off, and never quite reached that same level of intensity again. Last night wasn't awe inspiring, but it certainly wasn't disappointing either.

The band drew mostly from their newest, and while I still have my reservations about the record, the new songs sounded better in a live setting. "Louisiana" - one of my favourites from the latest - was particularly swinging. It was the older material that got the biggest reactions though. "The Rat," predictably, got people moving, but "We've Been Had" was equally well received.

now playing: Mazarin - Another One Goes By

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4/10 Andrew Bird w/Laura Marling @ the Vogue (AA)
4/13 The Odds and the Grapes of Wrath @ the Rickshaw
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