Middle aged indie jinks for NYC mainstays

Six albums in, The Walkmen continue to march on admirably. They’ve shaken off certain indie trappings and smoothed down some rough edges over the years, refining their blues music into something more sophisticated. Lisbon marks a change in tone – essentially, they now sound at ease with their misery. At times, there are echoes of The National, though any hope of a mid-career mainstream crossover is surely wishful thinking. Perversely, the most depressing thing about this album is that they may never conjure up the depression that gave life to the doomed song of their career, ‘The Rat’, again. Nevertheless, the milder tone suits them. While there is no classic centrepiece, Lisbon is a uniformly strong collection of songs. Opener ‘Juveniles’ sets their stall out, while their most ferocious, propulsive track ‘Angela Surf City’ is a stand-out. Even the darkly named ‘Woe Is Me’ is buoyant and loose-limbed.” It’s a mature effort. As it should be.



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