Mirage Rock kicks off with an oddly agreeable "wooo-ooo" from singer/guitarist Ben Bridwell on "Knock Knock," a fun and energetic opening song for this mostly gentle album. Mirage Rock might as well be the name of a new airy-rock subgenre, with luscious, echoey story-tunes rolling in like a soft mirage-inducing mountain fog. Tunes like "A Little Biblical," "Long Vows," and "Heartbreak on the 101" are imbued with confident patience and autumnal comfort, perfect for this (essentially) early-fall album. Bridwell's darkly poetic songwriting shines bright, the swirling wordplay matching his intricate harmonies. Having perfected the damp, woodsy vibe — as on "Slow Cruel Hands of Time," Mirage Rock's finest autumnal offering — the band offer a refreshing shift with "Feud" and the middle section of the snarky "Dumpster World," both of which emphasize their punk-rock side and suggest the feel of the band's live shows. They wear their influences proudly — rocking out like the Wallflowers or Ryan Adams on "How To Live," flashing some Dylan skills on "Slow Cruel Hands of Time" and whispering like CSNY on parts of "Dumpster World" — but then they'll float away like the fog they rode in on, reminding us they truly are the bearded Band of Horses.