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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Band Of Horses-Infinite Arms(2010)

Band Of Horses came out of nowhere in 2006, with their stellar debut album, Everything All The Time. A country/rock hybrid that stood out like a sore thumb on Sub Pop Records. That record had two of my favorite songs of all time on it(Part One, and I Go In The Barn Because I Like The), but there wasn't a bad track on the record. A lot of other people took notice as well, because the record sold really well, and the "jam band" crowd also took a shine to the boys. They followed it up the next year with Cease To Begin, also on Sub Pop. I was so eager with anticipation for that record, and it kind of left me hollow, although there were two amazing songs on it as well(The General Specific, and Marry Song). It just wasn't as immediate and personal as the debut record, but they had a lot of lineup changes, so I was very forgiving. When I heard that the new record would be BoH's first for a major label, I have to admit, I had visions of a major "sell-out".

While it's far from a sell-out, it still lacks several things to make it a stellar record. Once again the boys deliver two amazing songs(Older, and Bartles & James), and some Ok songs, and one song that is the worst they ever recorded(Northwest Apartment). Ben Bridwell is the singer/songwriter/guitarist/pedal steel/keyboard player, and I think that he hasn't given himself the time or space to apply his talents towards making another stellar record like the debut. Like some other records I am hoping that this one is a "grower", and I come to love it a lot more than I do after some more listens. Maybe they will continue to release albums with 2 great songs on each one, and after five records I can compile all of them into the best record ever? If you are a fan of Iron & Wine, Phosphorescent, Son Volt, Will Oldham, and other artists of the "alt-country" movement, you could worse than picking up this record. I definitely think you will like it, I just need to spend some more time with it. Kudos to the boys though for not "selling out" and for securing the opening spot on Pearl Jam's US Tour, it will be nice for them to be able to play Madison Square Garden, just four years into their career.

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