When Band of Horses released their debut album, “Everything All the Time” in 2006, I was mildly skeptical about their chances of catching on. The first single, “Funeral” is amazing and seemed to be getting constant airplay.
The problem was that they have the type of sound that could be exhausting for an entire album. Just like the band Muse’s constant anthemic rock sound, the echoey, whisper-scream of BoH lead singer Ben Bridwell permeates every song on the disc. But instead of becoming tiresome, it really works here.
Here’s how they were described on their Wikipedia page:
The band often draws comparisons to My Morning Jacket, largely due to the vocal similarities between Bridwell and MMJ lead singer Jim James, the occasional Southern Rock tendencies that the two groups have in common and a penchant for glimmering reverb.
The song “The Great Salt Lake” was definitely solid, and their song “Our Swords” was on the soundtrack for the movie “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” But I was still worried that, with such a great first song, Band of Horses might be destined for the realm of One-Hit Wonders. It didn’t help matters that “Funeral” was being played all over in commercials and a slew of movies and television shows.
However, all of that worrying became a moot point when they dropped their sophomore effort, “Cease To Begin,” in 2007. This was my most-played album of the past year and is slowly becoming one of my all-time favorites.
While their first album has one or two really powerful songs, the second one is packed with them. The singles that you might recognize include “Is There a Ghost” and “No One’s Gonna Love You.”
But even the non-singles are really good. Songs such as “Detlef Schrempf,” “Ode to LRC,” “The General Specific,” “Islands on the Coast” and “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands” could have been successfully released by themselves.
I’m eagerly awaiting another album, which is likely due sometime this year. The disc, which is tentatively titled “Night Rainbows,” was recorded in 2009, but a release date has yet to be announced. I’m also looking forward to catching them the next time they’re on tour.
I chose to post the following song for two reasons — 1) it’s great, and 2) it’s awesome that the band, which had been based in Seattle before relocating to South Carolina, decided to pay homage to one of the Emerald City’s former basketball greats in the song title.