I bought "Bows + Arrows", the Walkmen's second album, when it came out in February, merely on the good buzz the band generated with its debut album. Three months later, I have played it on and off, and it's slowly growing on me. The Walkmen are generally thrown in the same bag of "up and coming bands" like the Libertines, the Strokes, the Stills, and even the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (all of them also "the" bands, coincidence?).
"Bows + Arrows" (11 tracks, 42 min.) starts of with its strongest tracks, a slowly building opener "What's In It For Me", followed by "The Rat" (radio single), an all-out rocker and the best song by far. Other notable tracks include "Little House of Savages", "The North Pole" and the delightful easy-going "New Year's Eve". Lead singer and guitarist Hamilton Leithauser is (too) tentative to make this a top-notch effort. Sometimes you think the band is gonna come crashing through your speakers, but it doesn't happen (no "wall of sound").
In all, this is not a bad album at all, but it suffers in comparison to, for example, the Stills' new album "Logic Will Break Your Heart". But I will be interested to see where the Walkmen go from here.