Hymns : Travel In Herds

hymns_travel_in_herds.jpgLike slipping on a comfortable, well-worn jacket at the first hint of fall, Travel In Herds—the sophomore release from Hymns—fits in all the right places, warms you up and even carries a few surprises to make you smile, not unlike finding a twenty dollar bill in the pocket.

If you long for an easy-going brand of Americana that features pastoral meanderings, jangly guitars and just the right thrust of horns, you’ll find a friend in Travel In Herds. The album is a mélange of folk and roots music forms that recall early ‘70s records by folks like The Band, Neil Young and even New Riders of The Purple Sage. It’s low on pretension but high on earthy soul.

The horn punctuation of “I Can’t Be What U Want” volleys with banjo licks and sweeping pedal steel to attain a joyous romp. The half-step boogie of “LA Or Babette Strange” is a delight, and the hard driving “St. Sebastian” shows that Hymns are no soft-rock pansies. “On The Run” brings the album to a crashing close that recalls the most countrified years of the Rolling Stones.

Yet, for all of the hearkening back to sound of yore, the songs of Travel in Herds are not shrouded in nostalgia—these are vibrant, relevant and truthful tunes that reveal a young band with a deft ear for tunesmithing and rootsy instrumentation that is every bit as moving as the latest brand of allegedly individuating indie-rock.

Travel In Herds is out now on Blackland Records.