Thursday, September 4, 2014

Album Review: Reigning Sound- Shattered

Reigning Sound
** out of *****

Lets this get out of the way upfront, while we are utterly disappointed by this album we still love Greg Cartwright's songwriting and style, just not his (and the groups) performance on this record. Reigning Sound are going for a soul album and fall short on all fronts but primarily in desire; Cartwright and company just don't sound engaged throughout Shattered.

Cartwright's singing in particular is distant and flat. The band has successfully slowed down on each of their albums and the results have been gripping with a slow burn and vocal performance that conjured hurt and desire; on Shattered Greg's vocals just feel bored. "Falling Rain" is a good example, a fine song but when it comes to the singing there isn't any immediate feeling except a blasé attitude.

The minimalism garage rock is still intact but a touch half baked on tracks like opener "North Cakalacky Girl" and "If You Gotta Leave". The bare bones rock isn't energetic or particularly memorable. The group expands to bring in a well represented string section on "Never Coming Home" proving to be the best track on the disk along with the B3 flavored upbeat shake of "My My". Those two tracks show the old swagger and new experimentation that make this band retro cool and vitally alive.

Unfortunately on Shattered these are the outliers.  Tracks like "In My Dreams" are more the norm with it's rhyming of dreams with dreams, not moving the dial at all. Cartwright has set the bar high for this band with albums as amazing as Too Much Guitar, Time Bomb High School and Love and Curses and with a lot to live up to Shattered simply doesn't. Here's hoping some meaning and desire enter the garage the next time Cartwright and company suit up.
Oh man this one hurts...Reigning Sound are one of our favorite bands playing today and this disk just falls flat all over. Oh well, they can't all be zingers.

Still you should support the band here, buy the disk here and peep some video of the best two jams below:
"Never Coming Home"

"My My"

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