Monday, February 4, 2008

La Zona. Band of Horses. Good.

I am not sure when exactly I became “unhip”. Did this happen in just the first month of 2008? I used to think of myself as fairly “with it” in regard to music. In fact, the people that know me consider me a walking music encyclopedia. Along with that title comes the knowledge of the up and coming bands before anyone else does. So when did that ship sail, because apparently it has. This was apparent by not having a clue that Band of Horses was the band of the moment. I knew who they were. I had enjoyed their album, Everything All the Time, but I usually enjoy those types of bands. Give me a band that sounds like My Morning Jacket, Grandaddy, the Shins, etc and I am all over it. So why did I miss their tremendous ascension? I bough Cease to Begin in December but didn't really give it the listen it know the un-interrupted listen.

With facial hair and enthusiasm at a premium, the crowd came to life with every song. The organic and sappy voice of Ben Bridwell sang dearly to the audience from start to finish while members Creighton Barrett (drums), Rob Hampton (guitar), Ryan Monroe (keyboard/backup vocals), Tyler Ramsey (guitar) and Bill Reynolds (bass) all backed him with a sensatious orchestrated melody. (Which was good because the opening band made me yawn)

"Wheeling through an endless fog, we are the ever-living ghost of what once was," chimes Ben Bridwell on "No One's Gonna Love You," epitomizing the tension between memory and reality that pulls continually within Band of Horses follow-up to 2006's sublime Everything All the Time. BoH returned to South Carolina to record Cease to Begin which struggles with a tenuous reconciliation of past and present. The melancholic reverb of opener "Is There a Ghost" breaks against a surge of guitars and casts lines like "The world's such a wonderful place."

Apart from already having reached #35 on the Billboard Top 200 with Cease to Begin, Band of Horses once again emitted an array of harmonious sounds their hit album didn't cover. This is a band to watch, Bridwell has one of the best voices in the business, a vocal range that will hypnotize you and a band to match all of that.

It was a good night. The Giants won the Super Bowl (I am NOT a Giants fan, but a supporter of whoever is playing the Patriots) & I saw an incredible show at La Zona for $20. I will be playing lot's of BoH tunes this week, just because I forgot how good they are.

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