The Walkmen/Calla

split ep
/troubleman unlimited; 2002/

rating : 7.5



more info:

1: swoon in front of the cover. 

2: You have to realize that :

a: I'm writing this while trying to keep my body temperature under faint-level, drinking a blend of honey, tea, aspirin and alcohol. 
b: I'm missing Ally Mc Beal

What I like about the Walkmen is the retro nonchalance. They're cooler than all the other cool guys. And they're not even trying. Every song sounds like a tongue-in-cheek statement of legitimate coolness. I honestly don't know how they succeed in doing this. They're as cool as, say, all the dead people who became cool after their death. Apart from Pavement I have never heard a band sound so exquisitely nonchalant. 

Why don't you ever come back home ?/ I know you're having so much fun

I said that they sound retro. They don't really. I mean, they do but they don't sound like anything that has been done before. And they don't sound like Pavement, even though they're coolness brothers. I guess you could say that they sound like the music you could hear in a dream that takes place in the 50s. But you'd have to be a pretty weird kinda guy. or girl. There's nothing modern about them either. This could have been recorded in the 50s. But it hasn't been. Let's say their timeless. They look like cool nonchalant ghosts without any troubles whatsoever. 

So. There are two new songs by the Walkmen on this split ep. The first one is titled Look Out the Window and it makes me feel like dancing, mainly because of that damn guiro. Everytime I hear a guiro I feel like dancing. It features a killer chorus and two intertwining guitars which sound like they're not following the same time pattern.

The second song, Here Comes Another Day features the nonchalant line of the month™ : And I got dumped last night/ And I got dumped last night, sung in an unbelievably drunk/detached way with a "oh, well" feeling. I think this is one of the reasons why they kinda sound retro to me. The singer's voice I mean. Or rather, the way he sings. He sounds as charismatic as Cary Grant. And now I have to explain. Imagine Cary Grant. he's like, the embodiment of charisma (if you're twelve years old, just imagine George Clooney). Don't try to picture him singing, cause that's not the point. Just take the charisma, leave the looks and try to imagine a voice that fits the charisma and you got Hamilton Leithauser's voice. And not only has he a cool name and a great voice, he's got the looks too. The song sounds like music for Christmas in Hawaii. The great thing about these two Walkmen songs is that they're warmer than the songs on Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone. Or maybe I just got used to the cold feeling.

An expatriated Russian friend of mine had told me about Calla and I remember listening to an album and feeling like "oh yeah this is not bad." And I feel the same way while listening to these two songs. The first one is better than that actually, since it conveys the same feeling as the previous Walkmen songs. I like it. It's got a great bassline and a mellow guitar. If I could catch you I would/If I could tell you I would. The second song is a cover of Can's Mother Sky and it's fine but not as good as the three previous songs. Well. It's prog rock. And eight minutes twenty-one seconds long. This split ep is a great introduction to two great and highly underrated NYC bands. 


/dec 1st 2002/