Monday, October 15, 2007

Band of Horses - Cease to Begin

Guest Review
Band of Horses
Cease to Begin
(10.2007, SubPop)

I’m not going to lie. When I first heard about Band of Horses selling out and selling a song to Wal-Mart for an online ad campaign, I was sort of rooting for their upcoming album to bomb. But as the release date grew nearer and nearer, something deep inside was really rooting for them. I would think back to seeing them live, once unknown, opening for a slightly larger unknown band in a small bar. There was something that really wanted the magic of Everything All The Time back – I was really hoping for it. For Cease to Begin, Band of Horses packed up and moved shop to South Carolina. The southern influence is evident. I can say this because I once lived in the south, and as I sit here listening to Cease to Begin I can practically see the beds of shiny pickup trucks filled with frat boys and popped collars tailgating at a Georgia football game. This album is in a word, boring. In two words?, “Dad Rock”. Band of Horses is quite obviously reaching for a mainstream crowd here. The plain and obnoxiously repetitive songs are designed for those gripping moments in an episode of Friday Night Lights or One Tree Hill. The album opener, "Is There A Ghost," starts with a slow build up. They intend to carefully lead us in, to get us excited for the “rocking” that is about to hit. But the result is simply predictable, and ultimately uninteresting. The rest of the album follows suit, each song proving to be more dull than the last. "The General Specific," a country twanged anthem for the south, is the best song Band of Horses offers us, but by the time track 5 rolls around (halfway through the album) it is too late for redemption and the mediocrity of the song is all that truly stands out. Turns out, there is no magic on Cease to Begin. It is unfortunate for many reasons, but now I think mostly unfortunate that it wasn’t released in time for Father’s Day 2007. I guess I’ll buy my copy now and hold onto for Dear Old Dad next year.

-The Dung Beatles

Band of Horses - "Is There a Ghost"


Anonymous said...

well said. i agree with everything but the rating. cease to begin = 2 out of 5. (it's so bad).

Anonymous said...

oops! i meant 2 out 10. hell, make it 2 out of 20!