Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
The high-pitched, drippy-hippy, shiny balls brand of harmony-led rock has been in vogue with the so-called 'Americana' bands for a number of years now, although perhaps it never really went away. You had, at one point, The Byrds, probably the originators of it (The Beach Boys don't count), and then it sailed on through the seventies, probably finding its apotheosis in Crosby, Stills, and Nash. It was comatose throughout the eighties, but was revived, in a perverted version, by, arguably, The Flaming Lips. They twisted it with experiments, strange noises, and general scree. It had been taken away from its earthy, hippy, flannel roots. Now it is very much re-united with its original family, and the broker of that was, possibly, Wilco, on their Being There album. Fleet Foxes seem to be its guardians now. This reviewer would argue, though (kicking off a lot of arguments today), that the thing has outstayed its welcome by now. Certainly this album, Infinite Arms, by Band of Horses, bleeds it dry. They do it on every single song. Consequently the record remains at the same dreamy, apathetic pace throughout, only coming out to play on the Crazy Horse wannabe 'Laredo' - though reaching some kind of admitted country-pop perfection on 'Older''s chorus. Bonus points, too for naming a song after Bluebeard, the best of the fairy tales, and for the mysteriously evocative simplicity of the band's name. The rest of the LP is perfectly pleasant with, mustn't forget, a genuinely beautiful closer in 'Neighbor', but not a patch on My Morning Jacket's 'It Still Moves'.