Band Of Horses

Cease To Begin

Suffering succotash! Yet more beardie Yanks! Shares in Gillette must be tumbling. But facial adornments aside, admirers of My Morning Jacket and Nada Surf will appreciate Band Of Horses’ brand of intelligent, jangly, folkish rock. ‘Cease To Begin’ is the second album by this trio from the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and, with angel-voiced lead singer Ben Bridwell at the fore, it’s a delightfully soothing record. It’s founded on some Flaming Lips-style handclapping, ghostly echoes, plinky-plonk piano amid much musing on love unrequited and, on ‘Ode To LRC’, a lost dog who used to visit Bridwell. The highpoint is the beautiful, echo-laden country waltz ‘Detlef Schrempf’ – a song about a six-foot-nine German basketball player. If there’s one criticism to throw at ‘Cease To Begin’, though, it’s that at 35 minutes, it’s too short.

Stephen Worthy

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