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Released: April 2004

For all that ‘The Rat’ might have since become an albatross around The Walkmen’s neck, it’s unlikely that it hangs heavy in anyone’s record collection. Few songs capture the post-break-up knifepoint between rattled fury and enduring manic obsession better – one minute frontman Hamilton Leithauser spits “You’ve got a nerve to be asking a favour/You’ve got a nerve to be calling my number” before confessing that he’s doing exactly the same thing back: “Can’t you see me? I’m pounding on your door”. (LS)

How We Recorded 'The Rat:

On how it came together:
Hamilton Leithauser "We were just screwin’ around. We threw some chords on it, I wrote the words in five minutes, and then we all started slammin’! (Rolling Stone)

On how the song came out:
Walter Martin: "We tried to record the song many times, and it just sounded horrible."
Hamilton Leithauser: "It was bad, real bad."
Walter: "So the record company said, 'Why don't you try going in with a producer?'So we did, and it doesn't sound right at all. I think the production for the rest of the album makes the music sound big and live. But 'The Rat' just sounds dense and solid, like a little ball. But it's fine." (Guardian)

 
 

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