Monday, April 17, 2006

Band of My Little Ponies

Scourge of the Swimming Pool1 gave me the new Band of Horses album, Everything All the Time. Imagine putting together the dreampop sound of Seely and My Bloody Valentine with the lyrical "melodies" of Neil Young and you'll get a pretty good sense of what BoH is going for.

My initial reaction to BoH was unimpressed; the songs all stay about mid-tempo and serve as a showcase for Ben Bridwell's plaintive and heavily reverbed vocals- he sounds like he's trying to contend for Postmodern Monster Ballads. However, the dreamy layers of guitar picks and the complexity of drumming provide a sweeping foundation for his vulnerablely sweet lyrics. On tracks like The Great Salt Lake, the imbalance works perfectly, allowing Bridwells vocals to soar over the layers and lift the songs up out of the emo weight that threatens to pull the songs down, while the twang of the guitars give a lightly kistchy alt country feel to the whole experience.

The most appealing aspect of the album is that despite its unoriginal songwriting, the music and lytrics are so genuinely earnest that you can't help but look at your own heart on sleeve tendencies. "To wake next to you in the morning/and good morning to you;/how do you do? /Hey, good morning to you /more covers for you/sleep soundly dear cause i have to go." Bridwell's lyrics are so sweet without being saccharine that you can't help but indulge yourself in picturing curling back under the covers, laughing at the ridiculously silly grin on your face, as the love of your life kisses you goodbye. It's as though cynical Seattle pop met up with optimistic Midwestern emo and the two fell in love and wrote an album about it.

1. For those of you keeping track, yes, Scourge of the Swimming Pool was formerly known as the Object of My Affection. Recent Deep and Meaningfuls have led the Scourge and I to believe that Platonic Super Awesome Bestest Friends Friendship is the way forward, and all parties interested are much relieved and happy with the decision. All parties also maintain that whilst there was drama over the past month and a half, it was the kind of drama that gets critical acclaim at independent film festivals, so it's all copacetic.


Blogger The Bird said...

As long as it isn't REO Speedwagon...

2:31 PM  

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