Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Album Review - Reigning Sound -Abdication...For Your Love

Reigning Sound
Abdication...For Your Love
**** out of *****

Greg Cartwright tirelessly works at his beloved garage rock, after last years partnership and new band The Parting Gifts, this year we get a cross between an EP and full album from his main band Reigning Sound.  The eppy/album continues what the group does best put out  the catchiest goddamn retro rock this side of 1967.  Cartwright's songwriting is at once simple and textured, nuanced and heartfelt, intellectual and purely visceral.  The opening "Lyin' Gal" hits all of these notes, with its whirlwind organ buzzing riffs and descending bass line rattling the ear drums before the drum slamming rising chorus can't lets the anger out.

It is easy to see why heavy weights in the world of stripped down rock and roll seek Cartwright out as Jack White has sung his praises and Dan Auerbach has hopped on board to produce 5 of the tracks from this album.  "Shaw" is a heartfelt ode to Jim Shaw a mainstay on the Detroit rock and roll scene who recently passed away, the band turns in a raw performance he would have been proud of.   The more melodic side of the group comes out in the classic sounding organ laced "Call Me" and "Eve" keeps the mellow mood with simplistic love song that burns bright.

An exciting addition here is "Watching My Baby Get Ready" which is long time fans will recognize from a Greg Oblivian and the Tip Tops.  This is version has been updated from Cartwright's original slower take and given a jangling injection that reinvents the tune and shows Cartwright can update his own catalog just as easily as forgotten rock and roll gems.  "Can't Hold On"shows just how vital Dave Amels organ has become to Reigning Sound's overall shape as a band, fronting this tune and acting as the backbone during most of the tracks.

The popping drums that kick off the closing "Not Far Away" run behind the "ooh and ahh" vocals describing lovers problems and lost dreams "He's just a three time loser/Working on number 4" with a delicacy and intimacy that sucks you in.  Reigning Sound reigns supreme in these throwback waters and offering this release to fans for free is a Christmas present come early. 

I found this album earlier this month and the best thing?  You can still grab it for free or stream it on line, so don't waste another second get on over there and check out some great retro rock and roll!

An awesome side note is WFMU's Rock and Soul Ichiban show where Greg Cartwright stopped by recently and DJ'ed.  This is a great treasure trove of 45's that make a fantastic listening experience.  You can click here for a direct link to the tunes!

Here are some video previews of Abdication...For Love if you are too lazy to get off of this page:

"Lyin' Girl":

"Can't Hold On" Cool Fan Video":

The Original Release of "Watching My Baby Get Ready" to compare to the new version:

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