Despite oodles of indie cred and a lunar-level Brit-press cool quotient, the Reigning Sound is a fairly standard setup too. Classic Beatles and Beach Boys hooks, doo-wop melodies, and Stonesy raggamuffing are the well-worn touchstones here. But singer Greg Cartwright's songwriting is so strong, his choice of covers so cunning, and his cracking pipes so emotionally affecting that the band's records play as a true spit-shine for older fans, an eye-opener for green hipsters who never heard it this good. And if it all still comes off a little bar-bandish live, go easy on Cartwright; he may still be recovering from the torrid blues-punk twister of the Oblivians, his previous band, which pretty much kick-started this whole neo-garage trend back in the mid-'90s.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.