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Band of Horses is the phoenix ascending from the carcass of Carissa's Wierd, Ben Bridwell's and Mat Brooke's former band. (But what happened to the proposed November 16th?) While the penchant for beautiful melody is present everywhere here, that's pretty much where the similarity stops. Whereas their former project centered itself on slower-than-codeine-cough-syrup-on-a-cold-day, lushly textured sadpop, Band of Horses is a full-on indie rock band who write and play loud, raw, mid-tempo pop songs, and who really love Neil Young. Gone are the slow, layered, weepy singly tempoed songs of heartbreak and loss. No more violins, no more space, no more no more. Bridwell's vocals are stretched here (and they could be mistaken for Wayne Coyne or a young Young on first listen), but he and Brooke have a different MO here. They play a plethora of instruments between them, from banjos to pedal steels and piano, and Chris Early plays bass along with an assortment of drummers that include touring kit man Tim Mienig, though Sera Cahoone (another ex-Carissa's) sits in the chair on about half this set. The ramped up electric guitars are a welcome wind blowing through this heavier, denser music. Check the dreamy Chris Bell-meets-Crazy Horse-teched "First Song," or the snare-popping "Wicked Gil" with a killer six-string finale. The dynamic in "Funeral" hints at something less meaty but then kicks into gear; it's nearly anthemic with a wall of stun-electric gits ranked and whirring. There are more meditative moments though. The country-ish "Part One" is acoustic and tender, but "The Great Salt Lake" that follows it is simply majestic. There is a Beach Boys melody in here somewhere (perhaps something extrapolated from "Sloop John B?") and Bridwell's vocal warbles dangerously close to B. Wilson's, but much murkier — a more blissed out, distorted janglefest. "Weed Party" is a silly, raucous country rocker that crosses the Byrds with latter-day Husker Du. The closer is the spare, meditative "St. Augustine," which is as beautiful as Young's "Through My Sails" from Zuma. Everything All The Time isn't a perfect album; it gets a little long in the tooth in places and samey sounding. The exuberance is the mirror image of Carissa's Wierd's downer reserve; it's as if the fellas were trying really — perhaps a little too — hard to distance themselves from their previous incarnation. Nonetheless, it's a decent first effort that warrants repeated listening.
|1. The First Song|
|2. Wicked Gil|
|3. Our Swords|
|4. The Funeral|
|5. Part One|
|6. The Great Salt Lake|
|7. Weed Party|
|8. I Go To The Barn Because I Like The|
|10. St. Augustine|
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