Band of Horses
exited the stables earlier this month with Why Are You OK
, their first album in four years. Ben Bridwell
and his band of merry men (not actual horses) continue to mine a comfortable mix of lovely low-key melodies mixed with some cranked up Classic Rock guitars.
Album opener 'Dull Times ' The Moon' gets to have it both ways, essentially summing up the group's sound in a nutshell. After almost five minutes of Neil Young
-esque meandering, the track takes a sharp turn when it cranks up the amps and turns into the two loudest minutes on all of Why Are You OK
The great lead single 'Casual Party' is the most rocking song ever written about making uncomfortable small talk. 'In A Drawer' starts off with a welcoming, chiming guitar until the one and only J. Mascis
appears to sing backup, play guitar and kicks the song into a '90s college rock charmer every time the chorus comes around. Other highlights including the straightforward stomper 'Solemn Oath' and the country stomp of 'Throw My Mess.
Much of the second half of Why Are You OK
is dominated by the quieter side of Band of Horses, focusing on their more psychedelic, '70s California mellow rock tendencies on pretty tunes like 'Whatever, Wherever' and 'Barrel House.'
Why Are You OK
further cements Band of Horses' rep as a tighter, less sprawling version of their peers in My Morning Jacket
. And that's OK by me. Band of Horses return to Philadelphia at The Fillmore
on Saturday, September 24th.