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Break Up Break Down

Reigning Sound

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Album Review

Former Oblivians and Compulsive Gamblers frontman Greg Cartwright cools his boiling garage leanings to a simmer on the Memphis musician's debut with the Reigning Sound. It's all about the material on Break Up Break Down, and there are only scattered references to the primal blues-rock of Cartwright's notable '90s projects. Heart-tugging vocals and songwriting are the central components that this country-folk collection revolves around. Highlights like the waltz-time lament "Goodbye" have just what it takes to grip the inner Hank Williams in every garage rocker, without tripping any irony-minded alerts that equate anything emotional with overt sentimentality. Perhaps this delicate country-rock balancing act is what impressed the Hives enough to take the Reigning Sound out on tour, or perhaps the decision was tribute to Cartwright's overlooked punk/gospel work with Oblivians. Such thoughts won't concern fans of traditional American music after they've confronted the authenticity and the sweetness of Break Up Break Down.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Founded by Memphis blues-punk legend Greg Cartwright — a former member of the Oblivians, the Compulsive Gamblers, and '68 Comeback — Reigning Sound fuse the hot-wired energy of garage rock with the deep emotional resonance of classic soul music in a manner that suggests a cross between the early Rolling Stones and the Sonics. Featuring Cartwright on vocals and guitar, Jeremy Scott on bass, Greg Roberson on drums, and Alex Greene on keyboards and guitar, Reigning Sound made their recorded...
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Break Up Break Down, Reigning Sound
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