Alberta Cross - Songs Of Patience Album Review
Alberta Cross. Petter Ericson Stakee, a Swedish singer/guitarist and Terry Wolfers, a bassist from the West End. Hardly a conventional mix, but with second full-length release Songs Of Patience, they have provided an album with a potent blend of British song-writing and a quintessentially Southern feel.
Alberta Cross' influences are deep and varied, evident throughout Songs Of Patience. At moments, there are echoes of Pink Floyd and early Led Zeppelin all the way through to modern songwriters such as Oasis or even Snow Patrol. This variety and the added experience gained from relentless touring worldwide has led to the production of a swirling and varied rock record. Opening salvo Magnolia, Crate of Gold and Lay Down are amongst the album's strongest tracks, before settling into a comfortable groove.
This latter half of the record is much the same, before moving into the excellent Money For The Weekend, stomping and catchy with some excellent lyrical work. Hugely reminiscent of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, this is possibly the album's standout track if only for the unexpectedly up-tempo and electric approach serving as sharp contrast to the acoustic feel found throughout the record. Mainstream enough to have been included as part of the soundtrack to popular American Football video game Madden 2012, this track will surely get heads turning Alberta Cross' way.
One point that must be noted is the quality of the lead guitar breaks throughout the record. In today's music, it has become increasingly rare to find such emotive and memorable lines, especially considering the album's largely acoustic backing. Some of the solos, most notably on Crate of Gold and Money For The Weekend, are instantly catchy and also live long in the memory; they are, for want of a better term, very whistle-able. The guitar work, when combined with a number of excellent vocal melodies courtesy of Stakee, are at times raw and at other moments beautifully haunting over the textured guitar and organ passages; his voice still proves to be Alberta Cross' secret weapon, harnessed excellently throughout the record.
From the opening chords of Magnolia to the final moments of future live anthem Bonfire, Songs Of Patience provides ten tracks of deep and rewarding folk-tinged rock which improves with each listen. Ahead of a weekend at Reading & Leeds, almost the culmination of an extensive tour of Europe's summer festivals, they can only convert the unaware, grow in stature and cement their place as one of the most intriguing acts of the 21st Century.
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