Hot to trot

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MUSIC - KATHY MCCABE MI­RAGE ROCK is out now BAND OF HORSES, Big Day Out, Flem­ing­ton Race­course, Mel­bourne, Jan­uary 26, $ 165, big­day­out. com

HOW much do Amer­i­can rock­ers Band of Horses love com­ing to Aus­tralia?

‘‘ Any chance we get to come to Aus­tralia, we’ll take it. Ob­vi­ously if we come with Kings of Leon, we’ll do any­thing,’’ front­man Ben Brid­well says.

The band crack up. He is jok­ing but there is some truth to the jest.

Their last tour of Aus­tralia was de­layed by sev­eral months when the Kings of Leon, who had in­vited them along as open­ing act, had a bout of brotherly dis­agree­ment.

It messed with Band of Horses’ plans for the cam­paign be­hind their ac­claimed third record In­fi­nite Arms, but all still en­joyed their side shows.

Tim­ing, in con­junc­tion with a mea­sure of luck and great songs, can make all the dif­fer­ence be­tween the suc­cess or fail­ure of a new re­lease, and Band of Horses seem to have their plan­ets aligned as they launch their fourth record, Mi­rage Rock.

Brid­well says they all feel the luck gods have been on their side, par­tic­u­larly in the past five years since their line- up was con­sol­i­dated with the ad­di­tion of gui­tarist Tyler Ram­sey and bassist Bill Reynolds.

It helps that their brand of har­mony­laden, rootsy Amer­i­can rock is be­ing cham­pi­oned by those who would like to see a seis­mic shift back to mu­sic made by peo­ple with gui­tars.

‘‘ We’ve been right place, right time more than any­thing . . . to be this lucky and to have made it this far is quite re­mark­able. We should be flip­ping eggs and burg­ers,’’ Brid­well says.

‘‘ I don’t know for sure but there seems to be an ob­ses­sion with Amer­i­can har­mony rock for the past six or seven years.

‘‘ Maybe it has to do with peo­ple want­ing some sim­plic­ity back in how they hear things.’’

The im­mi­nent ap­peal of Mi­rage Rock to Aus­tralian fans may also lie in its un­ex­pected fa­mil­iar­ity. The songs re­mind you of all the best mo­ments of ’ 70s rock with the bonus of in- jokes for trainspot­ters and fel­low song­writ­ers.

While Brid­well and his co- writ­ing band­mates can nail heart­break and so­cial com­men­tary, they also couldn’t re­sist mak­ing cheeky homages to some of rock’s cliches.

Take Dump­ster World, which starts off sound­ing like it has been lifted from the band Amer­ica be­fore smash­ing into a gui­tar frenzy.

‘‘ I even wanted to save that Amer­i­c­as­tyle har­mony for the word ‘ Amer- ica’,’’ Brid­well says.

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