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Album Reviews, Music

The south won’t rise again with Band of Horses’ new LP “Mirage Rock”

By: Aesthetic Magazine –

Without a doubt you can feel the Southern vibes on Band of Horses fourth studio album Mirage Rock. Picture yourself hanging out on a creaky porch swing at dusk with fireflies buzzing around your head with the heat so thick you can feel the dew on your skin. That’s what this record is like, however something is missing. 

While the overproduction value of their third record Infinite Arms seems to have catapulted Band of Horses to re-evaluate their sound. There is nothing technically wrong with utilizing country-inspired jams and twangs, but repurposing it in a way that is neither cheesy nor dreary should be the goal. Instead we’re left with a record that has a handful of okay, maybe decent tunes, and a few head scratchers. It falls flat over and over in an effort to capture the lazy, hazy, in-studio, effortless vibe.

First track “Knock Knock” begins with stunted string of woo’s that seem misplaced. Lead singer Ben Bridwell sings “greatness achieved, darkness defeated” triumphantly, but one has to wonder; what was really achieved and was darkness really defeated?

“Slow Cruel Hands of Time” first mistake is the title of the track. Bridwell sounds bored and not in a particularly good way, the song feels forced, uninterested and too slow to be a decent slow down song.

One song that really does deliver is “Dumpster World.” Title aside, although it is QUITE hilarious, the song is really very charming. It has a depth to it the other songs don’t really capture. It is catchy, delightful and before the band starts to rock out around the two-minute mark, it sounds like something you’d hear at an acapella group’s performance. The mid-song rock out is a stark contrast to the easy going jam “Dumpster World” set itself up to be but somehow it fits.

Ending the record with a song entitled “Heartbreak 101” pretty much speaks for itself.

The entire record has a ‘70s quality that is ambitious in spite of this mandate of being easy-going and stripped down. Trying to emulate the greatness that Funeral had is futile, but diverging into this Kings of Leon-esque territory is concerning.

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