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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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The Walkmen
The Walkmen EP
Star Time

Over the course of four songs, The Walkmen lay waste the notion that garage art-rock could be an oxymoron. Tin-can sound and stadium-sized songs combine to propel them, even at this initial stage, far past the retro stylings of their previous incarnation, Jonathan Fire*eater. Indeed, they make the music of a band that knows itself, demonstrating a sense of dynamics and economy of style that most bands take years to develop. The drums thud, the guitar cuts, the bass loops, the organ floats; nothing gets lost, nothing stands out, but every note counts. And then there's the singer, Hamilton Leithauser. Lying somewhere between an early Bono and a late Robert Plant, his delivery wrings the drama from every word, wrapping itself around every syllable and letting them struggle out of his mouth.

The lead-off track, "Wake Up," shuffles in on a bed of tense rhythm guitar before the drums introduce the main riff. Leithauser then offers a drowsy take on post-graduation existence, comparing it to "a joke that's told without its final line." What begins as a personal statement ("I'm trying to wake up") becomes a general one by the next verse ("They're trying to wake up") and an imperative one ("Wake up") by the song's end. This call to arms sets the lyrical tone of the EP; by the end of the second song, the remarkable "We've Been Had," they've made their intentions known, rejecting retro-vision, nostalgia, and irony — in other words, the hipster culture that bore them. "We've Been Had" also marks the highest musical point on the EP, featuring a faraway music-box melody and another compelling drum hook.

The dreamlike "The Crimps" follows, finding Leithauser upset about the emotional detachment of the jet set as he pleads, "Come in closer, there's a chill that comes between us." The low fidelity of the recordings emphasizes their earnestness without ever inhibiting their sonic ambitions. The EP concludes with the slow-burning "Summer Stage," an exquisite, yet somewhat out-of-place, song about laziness — the only song here that sounds even remotely relaxed. The rest of the EP marks the advent of that rare kind of band whose music actually strengthens their restless conviction of its power. The full-length, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone, arrives in March.

by David Zahl

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