Everything All The Time

Band Of Horses

Sub Pop, 2006

http://www.bandofhorses.com

REVIEW BY: Melanie Love

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/23/2006

Lately I’ve found myself stuck in a music rut. Maybe it’s having thousands of songs at my fingertips, which, of course, means the second I set upon one, there’s something shinier and possibly more fascinating just a click away. Or maybe it’s the heat. Whatever it is, my tried-and-true solution is to pick an album completely at random and see if what shows up from Amazon is entertaining or just strange; I’ve had some of everything. This time (to prove just how deep I am), my choice ended up being based on cover art and a particularly cool band name.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Enter Band Of Horses, formed in 2004 by Seattle indie-rockers Ben Bridwell and Matt Brooke (formerly of Carissa’s Weird, in which the duo handled every instrument themselves). This time around, though, they’ve divvied up the duties, adding in Creighton Barrett, Rob Hampton and Joe Arnone to widen their Shins/My Morning Jacket/Neil Young sound.

Everything All The Time takes its time to build, each track relying on lush textures and atmosphere as it unfolds; the best of this has to be “The Funeral,” where the Horses hit their stride. A line like “At every occasion, I’m ready for a funeral” seems cheesily emo out of context, but backed by ringing guitars and with a soaring, belted-out chorus, the song is anything but, and ends up being the most memorable moment of the album.

Band of Horses’ strength lies in their ability to never stick in one place; though the album’s tone is thoroughly wistful, there’re also songs like the cheerful, jangly “Weed Party” and catchy “Wicked Gil” with its driving rhythm and reverb-soaked vocals to assure that the album doesn’t stay downbeat for too long.

And while they can do wonders with a banjo (which isn’t something I find myself saying often, but go with me on this one), like on the stark, stoic “Monsters,” the album’s real beauty lies in the final track, “St Augustine.” Relying on acoustic guitars and gentle harmonies, it’s the ideal capper to the album’s melancholy but somehow hopeful tone.

Everything All The Time may take a few listens to get into, but it’s worth every sweeping, plaintive, promising moment. Band Of Horses are definitely a band to watch, and for an impulse purchase, this album was one of the rare ones that turned out to be worth it.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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