The Walkmen, The French Kicks, I Am the World Trade Center and Paper Lions

If the Walkmen's Everyone Who Used To Like Me Is Gone sounded so pretty when it debuted in 2002, then how did it wind up sounding sluggish only two years later? It's because this year's Bows & Arrows makes their debut seem like nap time in comparison. The sophomore disc sneaks a few slower tracks into the mix, but for the most part the Walkmen have sped up by crowding out the dreamy piano lines of their debut with guitars and drums reminiscent of U2's Boy. Also, Hamilton Leithauser's vocals, which once slowed even the loudest songs, now propel rockers like "The Rat" and "Little House of Savages" with balls-out howls. Monday marks their pre-SXSW pit stop at Hailey's in Denton, along with an impressive supporting cast--The French Kicks, I Am The World Trade Center and Paper Lions. And don't be surprised if the Walkmen take the stage with even newer material. Songs from Bows & Arrows debuted over a year ago at Rubber Gloves, so by now, it's possible they've slowed down to a folk band of some sort. If so, let's hope their take on folk music isn't too sluggish.

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