Album Of The Week: Community Center’s Horns & Thorns

a2494634064_16Sometimes a musician just has to pack their bags, sort out their gear, hit the open road and never look back. Baltimore orchestral indie rock act Community Center have been doing just that since the beginning of the decade with continuous touring. Venturing out to new territory always promises a good story and they convey plenty of those with their latest album Horns & Thorns. The album shows a group of musicians incorporating numerous elements into a unique sound. Community Center aren’t your typical band and once the ears dive into Horns & Thorns, they’ll definitely find out why.

The sextet consists of Brian Loeper on guitar and piano; Denny Benbow on saxophone and clarinet; Amanda Rife on trumpet; Lacey Anderson on accordion, piano and violin; Jeanette Lynne on bass and Matt Stoner on drums. Loeper, Benbow, Rife, Anderson and Lynne also chime in on vocals. With so many instruments included in Community Center’s sound there’s a lot of variety with each song. It’s evident within Horns & Thorns through soft ballads, energetic anthems and rhythmic ragers. Some albums just go track by track while others offer a concrete listening experience, and Community Center’s new album does the latter.

With so much going on musically, it’s difficult to decipher which are my top tracks off of Horns & Thorns. There’s nothing to be nailed down and each track is great in its own particular way. This is a tough task, but it’s also a labor of love. Anyways here’s goes something. Let’s explore my top tracks off of the Album Of The Week:

The triumphant “Sermon” has Benbow resonating pristine skills on clarinet and the chorus is bound to give a pep in your step. A lounging tune is “Bee’s Nest Hair,” a smooth and jazzy track that has Rife getting all sorts of soulful. Those horns really make the song stand apart from the rest with excellent rhythms. “Bluebird” has Loeper singing at the top of his lungs about a lost love while Rife alternates on vocals with him. There’s a certain amount of ruggedness that comes from Loeper that gives a different quality.

Community Center has a couple of shows coming up at The Mad Frog in Cincinnati on September 14 and at Gabe’s Oasis in Iowa City, Iowa, on September 20. They’ll be coming back to the Providence area soon, so be on the look-out for when they’ll be  hitting up one of the many music venues in the city. When these six talented people share a stage together, wonderful things happen. Until they come rolling through your town, grab a copy of Horns & Thorns. It’ll captivate you in a way few albums can.

Stream Horns & Thorns via Community Center’s Bandcamp:; Community Center’s Website:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove that you are human *

Previous post:

Next post: