Reigning Sound - Too Much Guitar

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Greg Cartwright sums up his approach on the third album from the Reigning Sound with the title, Too Much Guitar -- here, Cartwright moves the old-school soul influences that were in the forefront on Break Up Break Down and Time Bomb High School to the back burner in favor of a hip-shakin' set of loud and primal guitar-based rock & roll. While Cartwright's passion for R&B is still prominent in these songs (and their performances), here it manifests itself in a set of tunes that take Stones/Pretties-style raunch and filters it through '60s garage rock bashing in the manner of the Sonics or the Misunderstood. In short, this thing goes bash, pound, bash through 14 high-impact cuts, and Cartwright's passionate vocals jockey for position against his revved-up guitar bashing, while bassist Jeremy Scott and drummer Greg Roberson flail away for all their worth in support. Cartwright also reaffirms his status here as one of the best songwriters in the nuevo garage scene on Too Much Guitar -- while the performances may value impact over nuance, the songs are smart, soulful, and emotionally powerful, and the lyrics speak of a maturity that's a far (and welcome) cry from the cars'n'girls blatherings of most new garage outfits. While some fans might miss some of the soulful undercurrents that made Time Bomb High School so memorable, if you want to hear Greg Cartwright rock on out, then this album will convince you that Too Much Guitar is never enough.

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