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Time Bomb High School

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Album Review

Time Bomb High School is much more than another garage tribute to soulful '60s Brit-rock. But the sophomore effort from the Reigning Sound is something less than the band's minimal, country-folk debut. During knockouts like the Rolling Stones-flavored "Straight Shooter" and "I'd Much Rather Be With the Boys," Greg Cartwright and his Memphis combo's sound is as pure, and as well-grounded, as anything since Exile on Main Street. With 14 tracks, however, the material and arrangements are spread just a little too thin, and too many average tunes are allowed in the mix. A bit of a stylistic return for former Oblivians member Cartwright, Time Bomb High School crackles with raucous garage energy. While nothing like the punk/soul primal scream of the musician/songwriter's earlier days, this disc surpasses any reasonable swagger quota. The Reigning Sound's moody, countrified debut had a relative wealth of riveting numbers, and more conceptual clarity, but this 2002 In The Red title will definitely satisfy Cartwright fans as well as listeners wary of the inevitable post-White Stripes garage posers.

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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Time Bomb High School, Reigning Sound
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