Band of Horses are an odd band. They don’t fit in with any trend – they’re far too heavy to be ‘indie’, but they missed the American garage-rock revival of the early 2000’s by a couple of years – and have taken in many styles in their best part of a decade as a band, ranging from folk to country, Americana to tradition rock ‘n’ roll, and often make it difficult to categorise their music. No bad thing of course (who wants to be pinned down under on genre?), but it’s high time that they really established themselves, and marked a sound that in 20 years time will be copied by bands who journalists will label ‘Band-of-Horses-esque’.
Which is why new single ‘Feud‘, taken from 4th album ‘Mirage Rock‘, is such a rewarding listen, for both old fans and new. Produced by Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer Glyn Johns, it’s a rowdy, rambunctious affair, clocking in at just under 3 minutes, and providess by far the most aggressive moment on the LP. The guitars are crunchy and distorted, the drums are crashing and almost lo-fi, and singer Ben Bridwell’s vocals shine through as always, spitting out some none-too-encouraning words; “Give a little money and a house and the car, filling up your pockets but it’s all that you got, I want you to fail.”
Scathing pessimism aside, the song is a great example of the Seattle rockers throwing off their uncharacteristic American rock shackles, and surging forward with a heavier, more uptempo sound, and hopefully elevating themselves to modern rock ‘n’ roll’s higher echelons.