Hot to trot
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.