Review of The Reckoning Album by NEEDTOBREATHE

Album number four from this South Carolina outfit was actually released in 2011, but comes to our attention as the band wrap up US tour dates and prepare for a jaunt to the UK.  A top ten record in their homeland, those awaiting the next Kings Of Leon output could well be interested in this LP.

NEEDTOBREATHE The Reckoning Album

Whilst a massive radio hit in the style of 'Use Somebody' isn't present, NTB clearly know how to put a bluegrass-influenced tune together and, like the Followill family, their sound could easily be placed in arena settings.  'Oohs And Ahhs' is a stomping rocker with a simple chorus that the title betrays, while the mid-tempo 'White Fences' is obvious sing-a-long material.  More gleaming guitar anthems can be found in the shape of 'Devil's Been Talkin'' and 'Keep Your Eyes Open', while 'Maybe They're On To Us' could well find you involuntarily grooving along.

Where many guitar bands lose momentum is when the acoustic guitars come out, or at the very least when their sound takes a more subtle approach.  It is a pitfall mainly avoided here, with 'Slumber' as glorious as opening the curtains to the first sunny day of spring and 'Angel At My Door' flowing with positivity.  Only 'Able' falls foul, proving unable to entertain as it moves to a gospel crescendo, but it is a very small blot on what is a very impressive copybook.  NTB are princes to the Kings for now, but on this evidence they could challenge for their crown in future.

Alex Lai

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