Review Summary: Band of Horses have put together a concise, solid indie rock album.
Everywhere I turn these days, I see Band of Horses somewhere. Commercials for Ford, MTV, Muchmusic (for those Canadians in the crowd) this group seems to be growing in popularity by the moment. This doesn't shock me after listening to Everything All the Time several times. Band of Horses know what they want to do, simple rock music yes, but simple rock music done very well. This is not to say that the band is generic. While certainly not the most innovative act around, it's the small differences that make up a greater whole.
The album starts, appropriately, with the First Song. The opening track serves as a perfect introductory to what Band of Horses are all about, echoey vocals set against lush guitar driven rock music. Wicked Gil follows suit in similar fashion with a catchy verse and an equally catchy chorus. Our Swords is a short bass lead track with what is my favourite vocal hook on the album. During my first listen to the album, after this song I thought "so far so good, but are they going to change it up any time soon"" Luckily, this question was answered by the next track.
The Funeral is a huge soaring track, and is a personal favourite of mine. Though musically it isn't all that different from the previous songs, there is something about this song that makes it stand out from those aforementioned pieces. Maybe it's the way Ben Bridwell shouts out the rather dreary chorus in an almost joyful intonation instead of softly making us feel sorry for him. Whatever the reason, The Funeral is an excellent song, and amongst my favourites. It is followed by the quiet Part One, a nice folkie southern rock song that acts as a good breather between The Funeral and the Great Salt Lake. The Great Salt Lake being similar in effect as a big slice of guitar rock.
I Go to the Barn acts as a prelude to Monsters and this track along with closer St. Augustine are the weakest tracks on the album. They are nice enough, but there the only tracks that I feel rather indifferent towards. If the mood strikes me right, they sound good, however at other times, they are throwaway. This cannot be said about the albums penultimate track, Monsters. A banjo lead song that features some introspective and hopeful lyrics, such as "If I am lost it's only for a little while". The song crescendos into a great coda that brings the album to it's climax.
Everything All the Time, is certainly not overly complex, but Band of Horses knows this. This knowledge is a strength, as it allows the group to hone what they know. It's simple guitar driven rock, but again, it's simple guitar driven rock down very well.