Band of Horses

Infinite Arms (Columbia)

Phases & Stages

Band of Horses

Infinite Arms (Columbia)

A debut (Everything All the Time) and sophomore smash (Cease to Begin) 19 months apart means the other flip-flop had to fall sooner or later for Band of Horses, and Infinite Arms fumbles its Birks like a weary hippie. First off Sub Pop for Sony, disc three opens in service of the sound of modern melancholy – reverbed vocals – for the ingratiating sad sackery of "Factory," which sets up the rapturous rock cascading through "Compliments." "If there's a god up in the air," sings/sighs Horse whisperer Ben Bridwell, "someone looking over everyone, at least you got something to fall back on," the song's solo lassoing "Laredo" next, straight out of the Doug Sahm songbook as covered by Hacienda. Infinite high. That's when the organic oils detailing this rootsy palette turn watercolor, fading to the mundane ("Dilly," "Evening Kitchen"), with sequencing not giving material the benefit of the doubt. Choir "ooos" lifting "On My Way Back Home," Dorian Gray's strummy hook on "Older," and finally Wilco-esque rocker "NW Apt." could use more close friends. End note "Neighbor," whose lyrical catch falls to Bartles & Jaymes, lands a far cry from debut sealer "St. Augustine." According to Meat Loaf, two of three ain't bad.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Band of Horses
Friday ACL Fest Record Reviews
Band of Horses
Why Are You OK (Record Review)

Neph Basedow, Sept. 30, 2016

ACL Live Shots
Band of Horses

Dan Oko, Oct. 3, 2008

More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by Raoul Hernandez
Nemegata's Folkloric Futurism Boosts Austin's Budding Colombian Music Scene
Nemegata's Folkloric Futurism Boosts Austin's Budding Colombian Music Scene
Local trio powers up its magnetic roots fusion in new release Voces

Sept. 29, 2023

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Molly Burch, Arooj Aftab, and Mobley lead our recommended shows

Sept. 29, 2023


Band of Horses

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle