For the past few years with their previous two albums, Band of Horses have been building quite a buzz. Infinite Arms, their third and highly anticipated new album clearly needs to deliver something special to launch this band into the big time.
Certainly, Infinite Arms has the potential to do that, don't doubt that for a second. The album begins with the almost cinematic sounding recent free MP3 Factory, a slow burning and orchestral number. Despite it's slow pace, it is still catchy and infectious, but heartfelt and wistful. It is the kind of song that accompanies movie scenes set in sepia tones. The album begins with a whisper instead of a scream, and it is just as effective.
Recent single Compliments carries the album on, and it is definitely a highlight, offering jagged guitar chords and a massive chorus. Laredo follows this, which is a great rocker, recalling The Drive-by Truckers and Foo Fighters, with its sweet vocals, which are layered and harmonised perfectly, and middle of the road easy listening rock style. Certainly this is music built for the mainstream and deserves a place up there with the Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. Every song is a potential hit single, which is quite a feat in this day and age, where most bands seem to deliver you 3 great songs followed by 45 minutes of filler.
Infinite Arms also offers variety within their formula, which so many bands forget to do, content to just churn out 12 songs which are essentially the same. Here we have the likes of the mellow Blue Beard rubbing shoulders with the more upbeat and catchy Dilly, a song which seems indebted to the Foo Fighters more laid back material and the earlier works of The Flaming Lips, before they started writing the soundtrack to the future. The chorus seems to capture the feeling of a summer night, and where on the surface it seems like a simple song, it really is effective. There is not one single bad song on this album.
If anything, the one problem with Infinite Arms - and it is not really a problem at all - is that the album stays relatively slow and mid-paced. There are no big rockers with massive riffs and two and a half minute solos, but perhaps that isn't the point. Band Of Horses have created a thoughtful Pop Rock album, loaded with textures and emotions. Whether it breaks the band into the big time like it should still remains to be seen, but if there is any justice in the world, Infinite Arms will at least be regarded as one of the finest works of the year.