Sunday, October 21, 2012

Band of Horses - "Mirage Rock"

Band of Horses - Mirage Rock

For most fans of Indie Rock(and thanks to the hilariously general nature of the genre, that's a lot of people) there resides a horror story within them, of a beloved band. A band that was once original, once exciting, once emotional, once relatively unknown, but who built up a fan base, maybe switched labels, and eventually devolved into a boring, general, or just overly disappointing act.  I've seen Kings of Leon switch from Southern Strokes to Y'all2, listened to the soul being sucked completely out of Cold War Kids, and now, I've witness the decline and fall of another favorite from my more formative years.  Band of Horses new album "Mirage Rock" can only be summed up properly with a gigantic, collective sigh.

Opening track "Knock Knock" is fine, I guess.  But by the time "Slow Cruel Hand of Time" is 30 seconds in, I'm dosing off.  Ben Bridwell's voice is still a national treasure, the harmonies can still kick your ass, but all the emotional weight is gone.  Long gone are heavy-hitting southern indie home-runs like "The Funeral" or "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands." They've gone from personal letter, to Hallmark card.  "Dumpster World" is a song that not only belongs in the place it's title created, but begs to be insulted as such.  The song is a calm, coolish shuffle, until it kicks in with it's big, bright beautiful(HA) chorus, "I'm happy living in a dumpster world."  Fantastic, because if this album is any indication, you've found it.

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