Everything All the Time is the debut album of indie rock band Band of Horses and was released on March 21, 2006 on Sub Pop Records. It features new versions of five of the six songs from the band's Tour EP, some with different titles.
Everything All the Time features the band's original four-piece line-up, although both Tim Meinig and Sera Cahoone receive drumming credits. Discussing the album's sound, band leader Ben Bridwell said, “I thought before recording that I really wanted an ELO-sounding record, with strings and keyboards and synths, but then, as we got closer to it, we wanted to take a more raw approach.” Regarding its lyrics, he added, “A lot of these songs didn't really come from any lyric writing, let alone any singing ability. A lot of the ways the words are sung were meant to hide or mask what's being said. But there are definitely words. I wrote 'em down on paper and everything.”
The band performed the first single from the album, “The Funeral”, on the Late Show with David Letterman. By that time Brooke, Meinig and Early had all left the band and had been replaced by Joe Arnone (keyboards, guitar), Rob Hampton (guitar, bass) and Creighton Barrett (drums). “The Funeral” has been used extensively in film, TV, video games and advertisements.
The two Mat Brooke penned tracks, “I Go to the Barn…” and “St. Augustine” feature co-lead vocals by Brooke and Bridwell although Brooke's vocals are much quieter than Bridwell's. A demo version of “I Go to the Barn…” titled “I'd Like to Think” was recorded by Brooke and Bridwell as Nov 16, a short lived project between Carissa's Wierd and Band of Horses. On the Nov 16 version, Bridwell's vocals are much quieter than Brooke's. Neither “I Go to the Barn…” nor “St. Augustine” were played live after Brooke's 2006 departure from the band until December 2012, when both songs reappeared in their live set-list.
Band of Horses is the phoenix ascending from the carcass of Carissa's Wierd, Ben Bridwell and Matt Brooke's former band. (But what happened to the proposed November 16th?) While the penchant for beautiful melody is present everywhere here, that's pretty much where the similarity between both groups stops. Whereas their former project centered itself on slower-than-codeine-cough-syrup-on-a-cold-day, lushly textured sad-pop, Band of Horses is a full-on indie rock band that writes loud, raw, mid-tempo pop songs and really loves Neil Young. Gone are the slow, layered, weepy, singly tempoed songs of heartbreak and loss. No more violins, no more space, no more, no more. Bridwell's vocals are stretched here (and they could be mistaken for Wayne Coyne's or a young Young's on first listen), but he and Brooke have a different m.o. on their new project. They play a plethora of instruments between them, from banjos to pedal steels and piano, and Chris Early pays bass along with an assortment of drummers that includes touring kit man Tim Meining (though Sera Cahoone (another ex-Clarissa's) sits in the chair on about half this set).
The ramped-up electric guitars are a welcome wind blowing through this heavier, denser music. Check the dreamy Chris Bell-meets-Crazy Horse “First Song” or the snare-popping “Wicked Gil,” with a killer six-string finale. “Funeral”'s dynamic hints at something less meaty but then kicks into gear. It's nearly anthemic. There are more meditative moments, though. The country-ish “Part One” is acoustic and tender. But “The Great Salt Lake,” which follows it, is simply majestic. There is a Beach Boys melody in here somewhere (perhaps something extrapolated from “Sloop John B”?) and Bridwell's vocal warbles dangerously close to B. Wilson's, but is much murkier – a more blissed-out, distorted jangle-fest. “Weed Party” is a silly, raucous country-rocker that crosses the Byrds with latter-day Hüsker Dü. The closer is the spare, meditative “St. Augustine”; it's as beautiful as Young's “Through My Sails,” from Zuma. Everything All the Time isn't a perfect album. It gets a little long in the tooth in places and samey-sounding. The exuberance is the mirror image of Carissa's Wierd's downer reserve; it's as if the fellas were trying really hard – perhaps a little too hard – to distance themselves from their previous incarnation. Nonetheless, it's a decent first effort that warrants repeated listening. – Thom Jurek (AllMusic.com)