The first thing you are going to think is this: “My Morning Jacket rip-off! They’re just jumping on the MMJ bandwagon!” Well, your first mistake would be in thinking there is a bandwagon behind MMJ. Ain’t gonna happen, my friends.
Your second mistake would be thinking that Band of Horses have co-opted the MMJ sound. Not so. I mean, there is the reverb thing. Everything All the Time is drenched in soggy reverb. In my intergalactic travels through the universe, I have never heard a record so wet (except on the last MMJ record). And certainly, the vocal style bares more than a resemblance to Jim James’ folk-y/Neil Young-ish warble. But once you swim past the reverb, you begin to see the wide variety of musical influences here.
Shoegaze-y guitars are featured prominently throughout the record, while most of the vocal melodies find their origin is the underground psychedelic rock of the 60s, a la the Shins. The jangly guitars of “Weed Party” make me think of R.E.M. and Tom Petty. The angular riffs on “Wicked Gil” could be found on any Strokes/Franz/etc. record today.
But by far the two stand-outs on this album are the majesty of “The Great Salt Lake” and the haunting riff and chord progression of “The Funeral.” Both songs feature incredible dynamics that make you forget all about MMJ. Lyrics like, “At every occasion I’ll be ready for the funeral,” hint at a deep sea of longing that could make Band of Horses great song-writers for a long time to come.
Download “The Funeral” from www.subpop.com or from Free Radio Sub Pop podcast on Itunes.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Band of Horse-sized Dogs