Released: April 2004

Though ‘The Rat’has 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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