Music News

Band of Horses

The music on 2006's Everything All the Time, Band of Horses' breakthrough CD, could serve as the soundtrack for the originality-vs.-inspiration debate. There was nothing novel about the disc, with most ditties overtly recalling assorted expressionistic, guitar-driven predecessors. Yet the tunes were so passionately performed that they frequently made freshness and innovation seem beside the point.

The tension between these elements plays out to slightly lesser effect on Cease, for reasons that are tough to quantify. Despite the departure of songwriter Mat Brooke, Ben Bridwell-warbled tracks such as the driving "Is There a Ghost" and the lovely air inexplicably dubbed "Detlef Schrempf" represent solid stuff. Equally strong is "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands," which integrates rootsy sensibilities with aggressive riffology. But lyrics such as "The world is such a wonderful place" (from "Ode to LRC") don't drip with insight, and the sonic familiarity of "Marry Song" and "Window Blues" proves to be a limitation, not a revelation.

Cease is catchy, tuneful and sincere, but a bit minor. It could have used more Horse power.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts