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Band Of Horses
Everything All The Time
Sub Pop Records

During a recent trip to the northwest, some friends and I decided to head down to the bar at the legendary Crocodile Club in downtown Seattle. While we didn't happen to catch the night's show in time, we were lucky enough to be treated to some cheap Rainier beer, as well as Band Of Horses' debut Sup Pop release, Everything All The Time, as it was playing over the house P.A. To my surprise, my friend Scott mentioned that these were two of the guys (Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke) from the former Carissa's Weird, a beautifully down-tempo, melancholic, shoegazer band that had known quite a following.

Band of Horses sounded nothing like this however. This was brighter, faster, and consisted of uplifting vocals from Ben Bridwell, with former Carissa's Weird singer Brooke lending his voice in support. Nowhere is this more evident than the bass line in the hook-laden second track, "Wicked Gil." What did carry over, however, was the free-spirited nature of each song, inviting the listener to escape away with the band, even if only for a bit longer than half an hour. "This overcoat will take me anywhere," sings Bridwell in the first song called…um…"The First Song." The psychedelic remains as well. It comes through as a lush sound of reverb and echo in the melodic vocals of Bridwell that is reminiscent of The Samples of the 90's and fellow label-mates The Shins of today.

Fans of americana, alt-country and indie music in general are sure to enjoy Everything All The Time. Produced by Phil Ek, this is no lo-fi folksy album. Each echo seems to hang for a second, deliberately taking me off in to space with each note of the guitar. They seem to still gaze around, however, maybe less toward their shoes and more toward the sky. This album just sounds so much like a celebration. Not, "Hell yeah! I won the lottery!"- kind of celebrating. The kind of celebrating someone does when they let go, breathing a jubilant sigh of relief. "The Funeral" is a wonderful song that shows how this band has grown up, transferring back and forth between soft and loud, subdued and free. Here, Bridwell lays it out, "On Ever Occasion I'll Be Ready For The Funeral."

Their ability to write such delicious pop melodies is what sets them apart from other earthy, indie artists. I can't decide if the inevitable comparisons to Neil Young are complimentary to Band Of Horses, or if it simply shows how influential and relevant Neil Young remains today. It surely must be a bit of both, as this album has remained in my stereo rotation for quite a while, right next to Neil's Mirrorball.


Track Listing:
1. The First Song
2. Wicked Gil
3. Our Swords
4. The Funeral
5. Part One
6. The Great Salt Lake
7. Weed Party
8. I Go To The Barn Because I Like The
9. Monsters
10. St. Augustine

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