BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
When a band establishes a signature sound that seems to defy description it automatically sets them apart as far as one to watch. Lord Huron accomplished that feat their first time out, and while their new album retraces similar ground, it’s no less intriguing. The brainchild of frontman Ben Schneider, Strange Trails takes up where 2012‘s debut Lonesome Dreams left off, via another set of nocturnal, dream-like visions that span a sound drifting from the celebratory to the cerebral.
Fortunately, many of its songs offer an immediate impression, whether it’s the swirl and whirl of “Dead Man’s Hand,” the kinetic kick of “Until the Night Turns” or the resounding rhythms churned up by “Meet Me in the Woods” and “The World Ender.” Yet even immediate accessibility leaves plenty to ponder, and the album’s spectral tones and hallucinatory ambiance suggests that several listens will be needed to fully process the entire effort. In that regard it’s clear Schneider isn’t ready to show his hand entirely; there’s an elusive aura that surrounds this set, suggesting Lord Huron will never pry its door open entirely. Then again, that’s what makes this outfit so fascinating…and possibly so essential.
DOWNLOAD: “Dead Man’s Hand,” “Until the Night Turns,” “Meet Me in the Woods”