Verdict – 7.8
The debut album by American indie rock band, Band of Horses, is as promising a debut you will hear from most bands, and whilst not raising the bar by exploring creativity and pushing boundaries, Everything All the Time evokes all kinds of emotions in the short length of the album. The honest, sullen and softly-spoken at parts record humbles it’s listener with some near perfect indie anthems. At times, euphoric, and then quickly followed by a wonderful acoustic ballad, the album changes constantly, and maintains a high standard.
Straight on the opener, The First Song, the distant, overblown instruments and the echo-like vocals creating an atmospheric vibe are when the album is at its strongest. The guitar is the most prominent instrument in the band, and the riffs are instantly likeable and perfect accompaniment. The lyrics are generally quite despondent and sad, however they manage to project these emotions in certain, reflective ways that make it relatable (Count on us all falling on our own swords tonight). “At every occasion I’ll be ready for the funeral”, the albums strongest lyrics found in the albums best track, The Funeral, has the sombre lyrics set to soaring guitars. Whether it’s plainly about remaining realistic about life, or the patient wait before news of a loved one undergoing struggle, or a metaphor for, well anything symbolising lessening of life, the track is one of the best indie anthems of the decade.
The album closes with three far more melancholic and lamenting ballads, with the sound stripped to acoustics and the vocals hushed. Album highlight, Monsters, has a banjo leading the instruments with beautifully honest riffs, leading to the euphoric ending where they shout, “Though to say we got much hope, if I am lost it’s only for a little while.” Album closer, St. Augustine, is a lush pine-like ballad, with a great guitar riff and a great dual vocal. “Let’s bury ourselves, and go haunt someone tonight.”
As said above, Everything All the Time has its highest points when they focus on their atmospheric qualities and utilise impressive song writing to evoke emotions of listeners. Unfortunately, a few songs do fall short, mainly when they choose to adopt a more rock-like sound. I can’t help but be a bit disappointed from this record, as over half of the album is near perfect, to only let weak tracks disrupt cohesion. Despite of that, one of the most memorable debuts of late, and will undoubtedly find a place in many hearts. This definitely is an album that asks for many revisits.
Top Songs – Funeral, Monsters, St. Augustine