Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams

Incomplete, wearisome MOR taken straight from the Mumfords’ sick bucket.

You either appreciate the loose ideas of Americana, or you don’t. You either flaunt Neil Young as a demigod, or brand him a grumpy bastard. You either treasure your Fleet Foxes CDs, or let them fester on your coffee table. These are the primordial facts of life, but why are we talking about them? Lord Huron, the latest project from Ben Schneider, make out-and-out, unblushing, wistful Americana. Fantastic for amants of hair and harmonicas, but not so much everyone else.

It must be said that Lord Huron do sometimes have that incomparable kick, that intangible something which others neglect. They don’t merely do the same-old, histrionic, balls-first ballads, and they don’t just sing about whiling away summers in fields. There’s no banjo. Instead, these fellas’ art de vivre sometimes involves embedding the odd hint of subtlety and experimentation. Astonishing title track ‘Lonesome Dreams’ confirms that this isn’t a record that only draws inspiration. It’s swaying country-pop at its least smarmy, and its most charming. Making you jump up and kiss the ceiling, and clap along like a child during a game of Pass the Parcel, there’s also something redolent of Bon Iver’s last LP in its glorious, head-nodding percussive arrangement.

Similarly atmospheric moments can be found in the catchy, Sam Beam-esque number ‘I Will Be Back One Day’, along with the gentle, bruised delicacy of ‘The Ghost On The Shore’, which somehow makes use of an accordion in a non-vom-inducing way. But the good news ends there. The rest of the album comes across as rather lacklustre: dreadful opener ‘Ends of the Earth’ is incomplete, wearisome MOR taken straight from the Mumfords’ sick bucket, while ‘She Lit A Fire’ sounds like an exhausted, downtrodden Cave Singers. And - darn - all the other tracks seem to coalesce in to one, mediocre whole. It seems they tried their hardest, and there were certainly some memorable moments, but these were ultimately outweighed by hackneyed banality and genre-bound cliches. A patchy debut effort.

Tags: Lord Huron, Reviews, Album Reviews

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