We were very sorely tempted to use Local Natives’ armchair again, but this is quite a nice picture…
Matt Cibula: Interesting formula: one-half “Killer Queen,” one-half “Horse With No Name.” Almost exactly the sum of its parts.
Martin Skidmore: If you start with Neil Young and strip away the vocal character and feeling, and the talent and imagination of his guitar playing, and any significant songwriting ability, and gave him a shambolic indie backing band, you might end up with something like this.
Jonathan Bogart: I was caught by surprise by how shaggily likeable this was; the only other thing I’ve heard by them was “Funeral,” and I was prepared for more stately lugubriousness. This is more like second-generation country-rockers (Poco?) fronting Crazy Horse. Hardly fresh, but I’ll take it.
Alfred Soto: Indifferent to My Morning Jacket and the antics of Wayne Coyne, I’m flummoxed by my instant attraction to Ben Bridwell’s antics here. As far as I can tell he’s attempting some “Dear God” apostasy, but the indie ethos of refusing to spell things out actually saves them; the better to let their raucous guitar noise and high, keening vocals do the querying.
Anthony Easton: The line about the lady and the raven sunk this into precious nonsense.
Mallory O’Donnell: I get that new bands seem to think the only thing left to do is to reference past scenes and forgotten successes, but one thinks there are better of both to draw on than, like, the Jayhawks. Apparently, Band of Horses (I shudder to even mention their horrid name) don’t feel that way. This has all the identifying characteristics of the aforementioned crudimentary Americana, with honey harmonies underneath. It lacks their virtues, however, which (it should be said) mainly consisted of being recorded in the 90’s and not, well, today.
Michaelangelo Matos: Meat and potatoes is supposed to have flair, too.