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Lord Huron

Initially the indie-folk vehicle for Michigan-born singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Schneider, LORD HURON has, since its formation in 2005, become a fully-fledged band centred in Los Angeles; the name stemmed from one of the five Great Lakes of the USA. If one could fantasize FLEET FOXES sharing a studio with ANIMAL COLLECTIVE or even SPRINGSTEEN (hollerin’ ‘n’ all), Ben and Co solidified their amorphous Americana traits by way of SXSW, Lollapalooza and Outside Lands festivals. But that was after the summer 2010 appearance of debut 7-inch `Into The Sun’.
Adding along the way, like-minded folk fans Brett Farkas (guitar, vocals), Tom Renaud (guitar), Miguel Briseno (bass, keyboards, percussion and Mark Barry (percussion, vocals); guitarists Peter Mowry and Karl Kerfoot had been dropped off either before or after LH’s `Mighty’ EP, visual artist Ben/LORD HURON quietly unveiled his/their debut set, LONESOME DREAMS (2012) {*7}. With FLEET FOXES taking a well-earned sabbatical, Ben’s band also sang of rivers, mountains and open spaces, their harmonies pastoral and pitch-perfect glistening from the get-go; example the soaring `Ends Of The Earth’. For many reviewers, far too derivative of their canine counterparts, for others with a penchant for anything diverting into desert-rock, all praise and hallelujah, LORD HURON slowly strummed their way into the hearts and minds of MOR America. `Time To Run’, `I Will Be Back One Day’, `Lullaby’, `Brother’ et al, were what BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST was to The MOODY BLUES, or better still… what AMERICA was to harmonious Laurel Canyon lot CROSBY, STILLS & NASH.
If FLEET FOXES had’ve fictitiously flitted from the Big Pink basement, LORD HURON would surely be paying their rent arrears, and in Top 30 sophomore set STRANGE TRAILS (2015) {*7}, the group’s haunting harmonies and Ben’s campfire cries of woe, also exhumed many ghostly apparitions of the old Wild West. I Am Sound Records (Play It Again Sam in Europe) were as always behind their proteges and, with most of the numbers (Dead Man’s Hand’, `Hurricane (Johnnie’s Theme)’, `Meet Me In The Woods’, minor hit `The Night We Met, and so on), it was a case of stop me if you’d heard it all before. Slices of COCHRAN-styled rockabilly on `The World Ender’, or the sadcore raindrops of `The Yawning Grave’ installed some sort of identity and pride, but please, don’t believe the hype as one group put it so many moons ago.
A Top 10 proposition after inking a deal with Republic Records, LORD HURON’s VIDE NOIR (2018) {*7} – translated as “Black Void” – sort of lived up to expectations. Main man Schneider (plus Barry, Renaud and Brisceno), switched the indie-rock tone up a tad, for the most part; in line with mixing engineer Dave Fridmann’s help. Holding the album together were the songs `Ancient Names (Part I)’, `Wait By The River’, `When The Night Is Over’, `Secret Of Life’ and `Moonbeam’; though no doubt some fans might disagree.
© MC Strong/MCS Apr2015-Apr2018

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