All due respect to Sonic Youth, perhaps the Walkmen should adopt the washing machine as their emblem. And not just any brand: a Maytag model. The Washington, D.C. / New York City / Philadelphia quintet has been churning out a steady stream of superlative rock and roll for more than 10 years now, releasing six studio full-lengths along with daunting supply of EPs, singles, and other recordings. Much of that output is exceptional, and it’s all worthwhile. Generally speaking, critics don’t like to use the word “solid,” but in this case, there doesn’t seem to be a better descriptor.
Forged from the ashes of would-be-titans Jonathan Fire*Eater and Boston-based the Recoys, the members of the Walkmen — besides bassist-organist Peter Bauer — go all the way back to attending St. Albans School in D.C. In fact, frontman Hamilton Leithauser and organist-bassist Walter Martin are cousins. (For those who are counting, the remaining musicians are guitarist-pianist Paul Maroon and drummer Matt Barrick.)