The Walkmen have been making music for over a decade now, so you can’t really say they are newcomers to the indie music scene. In fact, their style of alternative rock is somewhat of a musical staple in many circles. If you haven’t heard of The Walkmen though, they mostly hail from New York and have a relaxed punk-rock style that some have compared to The Cure. As for Heaven, the band’s latest album, it sounds a lot more like Roy Orbison than The Cure in tone and content.
If you think back to when The Walkmen were just becoming popular and being featured on The OC (god, when was the last time you heard that show’s name dropped) with songs like The Rat, their sound was much harder and had a pronounced punk style. They are not those irritated boys anymore and really haven’t been for a few albums now. What we are getting with the seventh studio album is matured style that reflects where the band has been with plenty of punk guitar riffs, but also where the band is going, in the way they have incorporated an almost roots rock style. For an album titled Heaven there are a number of songs about heartbreak and longing, but the reason for such an elevated title may have more of an earthly rationale. The title track Heaven is by far the album’s best. It stands out as due to its unarguable charm, the lyrics tell the simple story of love and the unbearable thought of losing it, all set to a driven drum rhythm and topped off with a strong chorus that is best described as a stylistic mix of Bruce Springsteen and Billy Idol. The Walkmen’s style of music has become a subtle one, once heard it will creep into the back of your mind, waiting to play on its own when you least expect it. In other words, you may find yourself humming a song off of Heaven a few days after you listened to it, which is almost always a sign of a successful album.