After two stellar full-lengths of wintery urban ennui The Walkmen have finally struck out for the countryside with the aptly titled A Hundred Miles Off, trading the emetic if captivating angularity of their earlier work for a more robust sound. If Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone and Bows and Arrows presented The Walkmen as young exiles fleeing across ice-slicked fire escapes, then A Hundred Miles Off sees them granted asylum in some bucolic protectorate. The Walkmen’s sense of shimmering dislocation remains, but their “all or nothing” urgency has been replaced by a vague sense of lazy unease. “Louisiana”, A Hundred Miles Off’s melancholic opener, wastes no time in announcing their change in direction with a slow wash of bent guitar strings and a languid bayou tempo that owes a great deal to the Americana-tinged fantasies that Bob Dylan and The Band were cooking up in the summer of 1967. By backing off from the hypnotic two-chord strum of their earlier work The Walkmen have created a unique and affecting record imbued with an adventurous spirit that can only bode well for the group’s future work.