Words by Brittany Norvell

Aptly named for its airy, non traditional ‘rock’ sound, the new album from indie rockers Band of Horses is so lightweight that it seems more like a dream than a record. Mirage Rock moves Band of Horses into a new realm of radio-conscious Seventies swagger and indie Nineties noise-candy.

The follow-up to 2010’s Grammy-nominated Infinite Arms, Mirage Rock is the Band’s first record to be produced by Glyn Johns, who’s worked with industry greats like The Who, The Stones, Led Zeppelin… you name it. Johns seems to have converged with lead singer Ben Bridwell in creating atmospheric ballads with reminders of the ‘old Band’ removed, and replaced by shinier harmonies reminiscent of The Fleet Foxes.

Album opener ‘Knock Knock’ exudes the ultimate in garage band intensity and hand clapping pop fun. The deeper you dig into Mirage, you’ll find the tone of the album changes with each new song. There is a rustic texture of ‘Everything’s Going to Be Undone’, probably one of the best singles off the album. This track is a fresh take on the energy this band has become known for, and feels much like front-porch jam session. The mood changes again with the upbeat, kick-drum rock anthem ‘Feud’, and ‘Slow Cruel Hands of Time’ that sounds something along the lines of of a reincarnated Crosby, Stills, and Nash single.

Band of Horses is a fantastic group, however, I’m not sure why they abandoned their prior sound completely. Maybe it was in the ‘changing of the guard’ so to speak, with the addition of new band members and the removal of old ones. Whether an experiment or a complete image and sound overhaul, Mirage Rock is definitely worth the listen!

Band of Horses
“Mirage Rock”
Columbia Records
© September 28th, 2012



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