What most people don't realize is that The Walkmen arose from the ashes of New York band Jonathan Fire Eater, but as they seemed out of their element a few years ago, this 'new and improved' version doesn't sound out of place in the current music scene. It's unfair to those unaware of their previous incarnation, but 'Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone' basically sounds like a follow-up release by Jonathan Fire Eater. Gone are the eerie carnival-like organs, but the strained vocals, tribal rhythmic drumming (eg, Joy Division) and sharp repeating guitar riffs are still present.
Yet the Walkmen have a much more evolved sound complete with trashy post-punk swagger and some clever production to boot. It shows a band that's taking their music more seriously, with a little less flash and more focus on songwriting. Yet just like Jonathan Fire Eater, The Walkmen sound just as ominous and tense as a tightly wound-up ball of rubber bands. In-your-face but still a bit unnerving. Nevertheless, the focus seems to be on crafting better songs this time around, and actually succeeds to a certain degree.