Band of Horses has been making indie southern rock influence music since their formation in 2004. Ever since the band has released multiple songs that have been featured on multiple top 100 list, and have opened for the legendary hard rock band, Pearl Jam. On top of maintaining a moderate amount of commercial success they have matured in sound in the 12 years since their inception. And on their latest record, Why Are You Ok , they further show why they are snapshot of what real southern rock is and what it should be.
The 12 track album starts off with the nostalgic "Dull Times/The Moon". The slow guitar play is reminiscent to Kings of Convenience "24-25" or even more dreamier like Real Estate's 2011 hit song "Municipality. "You get this notion also from the bittersweet lyrics where Ben Bridwell sings "All is numb, two minutes to one,What's your life like with all that you've done?" The instrumentation is soft and incredibly peaceful and gives off a relaxing afternoon feeling like something you would feel while sitting poolside with some friends and laughing about old childhood memories. Moreover, The second half of the track is much more aggressive but still comparatively relatively soft in tonality. The track is a great start and set the tone for what is to come on the rest of the album.
On "Solemn Oath" and "Hag" you get the Band of Horses sound that we all know too well, these pair of tracks seem to pay homage to their 2010 hit single "Laredo" off their Infinite Arms album. On "Hag" Bridwell tells a personal anecdote of fighting for love. He poses the question "Are we really in love?" And throughout the song he tries to answer this ever puzzling question. Bridwell ends up finding himself fighting his regrets as he ardently sings "I will live with my regrets, learn from, accept them and be done with them."
Furthermore, "Hold on Gimme A Sec" is about a minute and fifteen seconds of a impressive drum solo, accompanied with this perpetual washing pad that sounds very similar to an early Doors record. The next track "Lying Under Oak" is one of the very few underwhelming tracks on the whole record but it still adds to the concept of what Bands of Horses is trying to accomplish- which is to collect these pretty and bittersweet items to add to their memorabilia of love.
Band of Horses certainly have some gems on this record even though they don't make any legitimate breakthroughs on this album. They for most part follow the same formula that made their last two album successful which is to paint pretty pictures of love while simultaneously questioning their security with their interactions with women. This Nick Drake type method works and this nostalgic approach makes a beautiful backdrop for a spontaneous trip to the beach.