Favorite Songs of the 2000's: The Walkmen- 'The Rat' (2004)

The Walkmen are a band that's slowly been climbing it's way into the upper echelon of indie rock bands. They've paid their dues too. Their last album (they've got a new one out in September, their 5th proper album), 2008's You & I, is still one of my favorite albums of the last decade. Unfortunately, nothing off that album actually made this list. The track that made the cut is 'The Rat' off the 2004 album Bows + Arrows.

'The Rat is one of those songs that most more than casual music fans have heard. If you've heard one song from The Walkmen, it's probably this one. Yet 'The Rat' never got any play on mainstream modern rock stations and that's unfortunate because it really is one of the best rock songs of the decade.

The opening guitar riff when the drums kick in about 15 seconds in is pure bliss. The standout of most tracks from The Walkmen is singer Hamilton Leithauser because of his unique voice and 'The Rat' is no different. In fact, hearing him wail in this song like he rarely does is a treat. He hits the lyrics too as he usually does...combine that with an incredible band and it's no surprise The Walkmen have found themselves with the career they have.

As popular as they may be, they are still only playing places like The Bottleneck in Lawrence. They'll be there with Japandroids on Tuesday, October 19th. I'd imagine tickets for this will sell out pretty quickly, so grab them if you haven't already. I'll leave you with my favorite lyric from the song, which is has always been a personal favorite and a live performance of 'The Rat' from pitchfork.tv.
"When I used to go out, I knew everyone I saw. Now I go out alone, if I go out at all"



Poindexter said...

Chills man, gives me the chills. Starts in my neck then slowly down my spine. These guys have really grown into a force that's to be reckoned with. It's really a treat they're coming to Lawrence and playing the Bottleneck. I saw (opening act) Japandroids there several months back and they were absolutely explosive! It would silly to miss this show.

Chris said...

They're a band I've had forever, and they are always consistent, but really out of the spotlight, for whatever reason, despite having one of the most recognizable voices in music. They also seem to do whatever they want, so props to their label. Although it's the most heard tune, "The Rat" is probably still my fave, just for the lyrics you quoted.