The Walkmen have been solidifying their position as one of the most important bands in the alternative music community with their previous releases, "Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone" and "Bows And Arrows". Extensive touring, media prominence, critical acclaim, national modern rock radio airplay, and TV performances have helped establish the band in the music community. "A Hundred Miles Off" is their most solid effort yet. "Dylan meets Joy Division" - Uncut. "The dramatic epic sweep, the urgent, chiming guitars, the upright snap of the drums - it's all here" - Bust.
The Walkmen's third album steers their ever challenging sonic textures into greener, more expansive landscapes and finds the fresh air there downright invigorating. A focused, more guitar-centric approach is notable throughout, with textures that span the jangly invitation of the Mexicali horn-spiced opener "Louisiana" to the droning, hypnotic buzz of "Good For You's Good For Me" and churning rhythms of "Boston"; reminders that the band's frequent nods to Joy Division are considerably more than mere affectation. Set against those textures, the nervous "Tenley Town" comes off as a surprisingly straightforward shot of the band's thrashy, garage-rooted past. Frontman Hamilton Leithauser frequently invokes a vocal persona that suggests Dylan on too much coffee and not enough sleep throughout. Yet he's limber enough to coax it into the supple, Caribbean-flavored lounge croon of "Brandy Alexander" and the brooding edge of "This Job Is Killing Me" before bringing the album full circle on a surprisingly tender cover of Quentin Stoltzfus's "Another One Goes By" that somehow evokes Nashville Skyline
by way of Manchester '78. --Jerry McCulley