Reigning Sound – Abdication

January 01, 1970

(Scion AV)


A digital-only mini album from the Asheville, NC, garage
kings, who for this particular recording comprise founder Cartwright
(vocals/guitars), Benny Trokan (bassist), Mike Catanese (guitar), Mikey Post
(drums) and – returning from the 2009 Love
& Curses
album lineup – Dave Amels (keyboardist). For Abdication the emphasis is on
Cartwright’s pop and soul roots, the singer additionally “reining in” his
signature vocal scream for a sleeker delivery. The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach handled
production chores for five of the eight songs here, and the pairing turned out
to be ideal, with a lean ‘n’ clean (but still mean) overall vibe at play for
what’s quite possibly the R. Sound’s strongest release to date. (Auerbach’s
presence no doubt ups the band’s hipster appeal as well, but it’s not like they
needed it.)


Among the radio-ready tracks: funky party-starter “Call Me
#1,” which marries a brace of clever disco stylings (check the Curtis Mayfield
guitar licks) to gal-group backing vocals for an instantly hummable, and
singable, anthem; and the brooding yet insistent “Not Far Away,” a showcase for
Cartwright’s uncommonly soulful voice. “I know a place where lovers go,” he sings,
tentatively, then with gathering resolve, “It ain’t very far away/ From me.” But
don’t worry, longtime fans – there’s plenty of Nuggets-worthy moments to be gleaned within the grooves, from
throbbing fuzz-twanger “Lyin’ Girl” (Amels’ organ in particular powers this
track’s arrangement) to the Beatles-at-the-Cavern-Club beat punk of “Watching
My Baby” to three-chord raver “Can’t Hold On,” destined to be a primo fixture
on somebody’s Garage Classics Of The New Millennium mixtape in the future.


Point of fact, nobody’s abdicating nothin’ here. The Reigning Sound still rules, and Cartwright
remains the king.


Hold On,” “Lyin’ Girl,” “Not Far Away” FRED MILLS


Speaking of download:
the entire album is streaming at the Scion AV Soundcloud page. Check it out:

Reigning Sound – Abdication…For Your Love (Scion AV) by ScionAV

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