When Horses Would Run by Being Dead album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions


When Horses Would Run

Being Dead

“The band prances merrily into the hearts of everyone from the roughest and toughest barbarians to the most angelic little babies,” it is said of the band Being Dead, who meld irony with earnestness, sorrow with joy, DIY punk with 70’s golden harmonies. They are the kind of band to rhyme “cocaine soda” and “Oklahoma,” and creativity and creative friendship is the hinge pin of their new album, When Horses Would Run.

Recorded at Radio Milk with producer Jim Vollentine, who’s worked with the likes of Spoon and White Denim, it is an attempt to capture analog disintegration and instruments and vocals pushed to the max. The guitars and keyboards sound almost detuned on a number of tracks, capturing the vintage feel of a 70’s vinyl played a thousand times, and it matches their romantic, throwback lyrics, though there is something quintessentially modern about the band.

Songs about the extinction of the buffalo, and the question whether God reads his Bible, and the hippy dream of “Treeland,” (“Treeland ain’t somewhere / It’s a way of life,”) they have their tongues firmly in cheek, while singing Beach Boys’-esque harmonies to appeal to the music aficionado or the casual observer alike.

“You and me will bloom in the sun / We’ll lift our tongues / And swallow the whole sky whole.” It is an ambitious album that is the result of almost seven years of collaboration, and everything is thrown in from a newborn baby to a “heaven’s tomb erection.” They are a playful group who know how to hit a nerve, with their subtle socio-political stance.

But most of all it is transcendent music. “Slipped in a daydream / Take me with you.” Whether it’s their next to last song “Livin’ Easy” or their opening number, “The Great American Picnic,” there is a pastoral, heavenly feel to much of their music, accentuated by their nostalgic harmonies. Like the title of the record suggests, perhaps there is something lost in modern living, some joy that they try and succeed, as a ramshackle group, to bring back. It’s weird and enjoyable, it’s humorous and recognizable. It’s a beautiful record that will for certain make it on some best of the year lists.

Order by Being Dead HERE


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