Band of Horses

Three-trick ponies

It's one thing to say that Band of Horses is influenced by Built to Spill, The Flaming Lips, and The Shins. But there isn't a single sound on Everything All the Time, the Seattle group's debut, that doesn'tcome from one of these three influences. Still, it's a pretty inspired aping. Bassist Matt Brooke and singer/guitarist Ben Bridwell spent a decade in the insanely overlooked Carissa's Wierd -- and while they bring little of their old outfit's stubborn originality to Band of Horses, it's got soul to spare. With prairie-size guitars, and vocals thin enough to slip through the cracks between atoms, Bridwell sounds like a one-man philharmonic of pussies as he whines and twangs about funerals, the Great Salt Lake, and weed parties. There's something inherently rigid, limp and tooth-grindingly dull about this brand of indie rock -- and yet Band of Horses, like its more famed forebears, manages to gallop right through the bland barrier.

 
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