Band Of Horses : Mirage Rock
"Greatness achieved, darkness defeated/A ramshackle crew with something to prove/And a truckload of believe it." Band Of Horses keep it straight up on Mirage Rock. Ben Bridwell and crew have the windows down, the sparse American landscape on the horizon and plenty of juice in the tank as they proceed to reflect on their place in the world.
This time around, Glyn Johns, ‘the most legendary producer that’s ever walked the earth’ (as described by Bridwell) was a catalyst in helping trim the fat on three albums worth of material to create an album that is far more celebratory and less complex than Infinite Arms. Live, analog recording a key to capturing the tenderness and integrity of Bridwell’s writing.
Slow Cruel Hands Of Time and Shut-In Tourist highlight the impact of such an approach with a talented veteran like Johns (Eagles, The Who, Rolling Stones). Acoustic guitars, flowering harmonies and the most gentle of accompaniment for a band often known for their rockers.
A few do remain however. Opener and first single Knock Knock has all engines firing and will be a live stand out this summer. Electric World and Feud have the pedals pushed and Bridwell putting his vocals through their paces. But the album attracts far more porch moments than previous releases. Long Vows, the Springsteen-esque Heartbreak On The 101 and the exquisite Everything’s Gonna Be Undone melt and mould a magnificent array of sounds for a band with clear skies before them.
BY JOHN DONALDSON
Best Track: Everything’s Gonna Be Undone
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: WILCO, THE AVETT BROTHERS, THE BAND
In A Word: Picturesque