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A Hundred Miles Off

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The Walkmen: John Shearer/WireImage.com

On 2004’s stellar Bows + Arrows, the Walkmen perfected a mix of stumbling balladry and vigorous rock anchored by frontman Hamilton Leithauser’s creaky cry and the warm accents of a vintage organ. A Hundred Miles Off furthers the band’s harsh, spiked-guitar side while sacrificing their former bleary-eyed bliss. The CD’s austere instrumentation brings out the worst in Leithauser, whose once-endearing tunelessness becomes a whining deterrent on cuts like ”Danny’s at the Wedding” and the out-of-place hardcore-punk bid ”This Job Is Killing Me.” Sixties-soul-flecked closer ”Another One Goes By” shows the Walkmen can still ooze woozy cool, but it’s not enough to salvage this jarring misfire.