Band of Horses – Cease to Begin (Sub Pop)

band-of.jpgIf this is still a small largely unheard indie record in six months then something has gone horribly wrong. Looking more like ZZ Top meeting up at a Sturgis Harley rally, singer Ben Bridwell has crafted one of the most beautiful rock records in a decade. Think Radiohead “The Bends” with its all the ambition and none of the alienation.

His bushy beard, and heavily inked arms make you think scary headbanger, not dreamy indie guy, but alas this is a G rated rock record for hipsters, and maybe even their kids. These songs glide smoothly on a bed of effortlessness, clouds drifting over a melodic sea, all the while Bridwell’s vocals alternating between the ethereal on “No One’s Gonna Love You” to the sublime on “Detlef Schrempf.”

Like their name, this band paints the picture of open spaces, big skies, and fond memories. Like the Frames, this is band who could easily seduce a Coldplay type audience, but until then this is a wondeeful secret.

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