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The Horse You Rode In On

Band_of_horses_01lWith Rogue Wave having decamped to a pseudo major-label for its third album, one could reasonably assume that Band Of Horses has assumed the role of Shins Jr. on the Sub Pop roster. And while all traces of Shins-ery have not been erased from the group's upcoming album, "Cease to Begin," there's a bigger, more original sound to be heard on the disc, due Oct. 9.

Jaded Insider is particularly over the moon for the propulsive "Islands on the Coast," where two guitar parts (one, a three-note ascending riff; the other a shimmery, strummy kind of thing) encircle Ben Bridwell's clear, strong voice. The result for some reason reminds us of early U2 goodies like "Is That All?" and "With a Shout," but more smiley. Opener "Is There a Ghost" is also more of a dense, vaguely anthemic rocker than would have been found on BOH's debut, "Everything All the Time."

But then there are a number of tunes that go in a completely different direction. "Detlef Schrempf" (named after the crew-cut favoring German NBA supersub with deadly three-point range) is a languid, lovely, reverb-loaded tune, while "The General Specific" is full of piano, handclaps and acoustic guitar and "Marry Song" sounds like nothing but keyboard, drums and voice. We won't give away anything else. Only complaint: the whole album is over and done with in 35 minutes flat.

August 8, 2007 | Permalink


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