The Enemy Lovers and Band of Horses play in Asheville, NC on the same night! This Thursday (Oct 28)! If you have $26 to spare go and see BOH at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium (Find Tickets) but everyone else come see The Enemy Lovers at Stella’s (The basement at Stella Blue NO COVER)!! We launch The Enemy Lovers Residency (Live Every Thursday 9pm No Cover)!!
**Infinite Arms was released May 18, 2010. The inspiration to write this review so long after being released came due to their upcoming show in Asheville NC, my hometown!
Let me start by saying that the new record has grown on me and I do really love it now. But the first couple times through, I thought it was terrible. Like Ray Lamontagne did with his new record (Click to read our review), Band of Horses ventured out on their own this time and took their touring band into the studio to record ”Infinite Arms”. (Click to listen)
After reading a lot of bad reviews I was shamefully peer pressured into thinking the new album wasn’t worth my $9.99. Then Amazon did the $3.99 deal and I jumped on it thinking it had to be worth a try. I downloaded it, moved it to my ipod and plugged it in to my stereo. The opening track starts with brilliant strings that single handedly had me putting this record on continuously over the next month, even though I thought I didn’t really like the album. Then the background vocals on “Blue Beard” slapped me on the face and said why aren’t you really listening!! I began then, to hear the understated perfection of this entire body of new music. No, it’s not old Band of Horses or “The Funeral” but it’s definitely not a step back either.
“Infinite Arms” isn’t just a list of new songs, it’s a mood. It’s not Band of Horses trying to fill a quota for a new Band of Horses record. Nothing is the same here as it was with their previous two back to back masterpieces (“Everything All The Time” and “Cease To Begin”) but nothing is missing. And though understated, there is a lot happening here! From the stacked lead vocals with equally strong backing vocals to huge orchestral percussion, it comes together to create a full album you want to hear all the way through. There’s a cadence in “Compliments” that make you want to stomp out the dreary early mornings and “Dilly” seems to smooth off all the hard edges of life, if only for three and a half minutes. And you’ll realize half way through “Evening Kitchen” that you’re lost in some great nostalgic thought you haven’t had in years. Even in all the newness Ben Bridwell still captures that distinct and strangely unique vocal we all love. “Infinite Arms” is a great addition to an amazing, growing discography from Band of Horses!
This is the first Band of Horses album recorded by “the band”. They played it, produced it and released it. Why they made the choice to record without their former producer was puzzling to me at first, but now hearing what was created I understand. Sometimes to step forward you have to step to the side and go around the looming expectations of how great you’ve been in the past, and create a new great.
Did you get the new record by band of horses? What did YOU think? (leave in comments section)