The Rockfeedback A-Z of Underrated Records: The Walkmen - Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone
27 Nov 2008
"forget 'the rat' and tons of people's usual assumptions about the walkmen. they're not a standard new york early nougties indie-explosion band that simply blended in with other smartly dressed men playing shiny high-slung guitars with only a couple of dancefloor fillers at their disposal. gosh no. no..."
The Rockfeedback A-Z of Underrated Records is an ever expanding guide to albums, beloved by our writers if not the world at large, that we think you should know about. Records on the list are present in virtue of fulfilling a number of deliberately vague criteria. These can range from the LPs being unfairly slated at the time despite being fantastic, their being lost classics authored by underground artists that have failed to reach the audience they deserve, or true gems unjustly overshadowed by the huge commercial success of an artists' other work. It is our hope that the list will expand into being an exciting guide to collecting life changing music that might not feature in your usual 'The Greatest 100 Records You Must Listen to BEFORE YOU DIE' run downs, and that it will be enjoyed with all the enthusiasm and good natured humour with which it is intended. - Tom Hannan, Editor
Forget right now the band's most famous track, 'The Rat' and tons of people's usual assumptions about The Walkmen. They're not a standard New York early nougties indie-explosion band that simply blended in with other smartly dressed men playing shiny high-slung guitars with only a couple of dancefloor fillers at their disposal. Gosh no. No.
They're an artful troupe of creative souls who, with Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone, the band's debut, made a real splash of a forward thinking rock record that's since been criminally underrated. Hence its inclusion in this increasingly curious list of ours.
The record's heavily drenched reverb never falters or changes much - instead it gives this impression of a group of talented and interesting individuals getting together in some kind of upper west side church hall, or maybe some upstate New York barn, and making a real piece of rock and roll art. The result is a quite concentrated mood that only slightly changes and evolves with occasional fantastic songs as it progresses as an LP.
However it's lyrically that it also stakes a claim for being quite such an amazing record. With a title like it has, its content predictably scans a rather bleak and pessimistic nature. It includes a personal favourite lyric of regret on 'We've Been Had'; vocalist Hamilton Leithauser's mournful retrospectives echo many people's wrong steps in the past - "see me aged 19/with some dumb haircut from 1960/moving to New York City/live with my friends there/we're all taking the same steps/they're foolish now".
Throw in some wonderful organ sounds, truly excellent drumming and great songs like 'Wake Up', 'That's The Punch Line', 'French Vacation', and you've got a really amazing record that deserves far more attention than it currently garners. Case closed.