Mirage Rock is the fourth album from Band of Horses, it's an interesting follow up to their breakthrough release Infinite Arms. It's their most cohesive album it's also an album that has a lot of depth and layers, in parts it's polished and dense but there is also a complimentary rawness to the album, maybe influenced by their choice of producer, Glyn Johns. Johns' resume is impressive he has worked with The Faces, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Eric Clapton, the rawness of the album and the loose feel may be attributed to Johns. The band have taken a creative leap from Infinite Arms the songwriting is more developed and mature, it's the sound of a band starting to feel confident with each other and their direction.
The title track Knock Knock has a anthem rock feel to it, with noisy layered guitars and an optimistic feel. It's a great statement of intent,
If better things come to those who wait,
Then bitterness left for all too late.
Greatness achieved, darkness defeated,
A ramshackle crew with something to prove
And a truck load believe it.
The majestic Slow Cruel Hands of Time is reflective, looking over the shoulder at the past with some wonderful harmonies, has an early 70's Beach Boys feel to it. It's another example of how their songwriting has developed, in parts stripped back reminiscent of the Laurel Canyon sound of the West Coast then it heads down to Memphis for the Big Star sounding A Little Biblical with a little more pop thrust. Long vows is gentle rolling country soul with soaring harmony vocals, the band had added a more stripped back acoustic style to some of their songs.
Mirage Rock shows the Band of Horses taking a more introspective turn but still capable of those layered harmonies but with a sound that has greater additions to the palate, looking forward to seeing these guys live in January.