Infinite Shuffle

May 1, 2011

67 – Alberta Cross

Filed under: A, Brooklyn, England — assman41 @ 12:01 am

I’ve never been able to properly celebrate Record Store Day since it started in 2008, mostly because I live in a musically boring area and couldn’t make it to the big city to take part in the festivities.

But this year, I found myself observing the “holiday” a week later during a trip to Indianapolis. Just before the New Pornographers show, I hit up a record store in Broad Ripple called Indy CD & Vinyl and ended up walking out with a copy of Alberta Cross’ debut full-length release, Broken Side of Time.

(I also patronized another establishment a couple of days later, but I’ll save that story for next week’s post.)

I’m always a fan of any record store that has listening stations. The first disc I listened to was Alberta Cross. I knew I’d heard of the band before, but I always used to get it confused with similarly named The Rural Alberta Advantage and Cross Canadian Ragweed. And that confusion simply led to me not listen to any of them until very recently.

Anyways, upon hearing “Songs 3Three Blues”, the first track on the Alberta Cross album, I knew I’d be listening to several more. And by the time I got to “Old Man Chicago”, I was totally sold on that disc.

Alberta Cross – Old Man Chicago

That song is my favorite on the album, but there’s really no rejects among the 10 tracks. While that ditty just makes you want to sing along to The Band and Wilco influences, it’s something of an exception on this disc.

The bulk of the songs are slow, heavy rockers that give a nod to bands such as My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon and Band of Horses.

The opening track has a Neil Young feel to it, but it’s quickly followed by the album’s most rocking tune, “ATX”. I couldn’t put my finger on it before reading some reviews on Amazon, but this song sounds a lot like ’90s alt-rockers Bush — but don’t take that as a diss.

Alberta Cross – ATX

On the next track, “Taking Control”, Petter Ericson Stakee’s vocals turn echoey like those of Band of Horses.

The title track evokes thoughts of Kings of Leon and even Led Zeppelin. But it’s followed by “Rise From the Shadows”, which is a long, slow one with heavy, echoing, alt-country vocals. After that is “City Walls”, which is another slow one, but the vocals sorta reminded me of the British band The Music.

The next two songs are actually repeats from the band’s catalogue. “The Thief and the Heartbreaker” was the title track of a seven-song “mini-album” the band released in April 2007 that also included “Old Man Chicago”. And “Leave Us or Forgive Us” is the title track of an EP that was released in October of that year that also included “The Thief and the Heartbreaker” again.

The interesting thing about those first two shorter releases is that they were done during the band’s first incarnation in London.  Ericson Stakee, as you may be able to tell by his name, was born in Sweden but eventually moved to England, where he met bassist Terry Wolfers. The two recruited Ericson Stakee’s brother to play keyboards and they put out the first two discs.

Bored with the scene in London, the duo moved to Brooklyn and fleshed out the band with Sam Kearney (lead guitar), Alec Higgins (keyboard) and Austin Beede (drums, percussion).

With the infusion of new blood, the band took a huge leap forward with the 2009 release of Broken Side of Time, moving from a mostly alt-country sound to much heavier, guitar-driven fare.

Alberta Cross – Broken Side of Time

The group is said to be working on their sophomore release, which I’m definitely looking forward to.

After checking out Alberta Cross’ upcoming tour schedule, I was delighted to see they’ll be at Bonnaroo, which I’m tentatively planning to attend.

Visit their MySpace page for tour information or to hear a few more songs.


1 Comment »

  1. […] my recent trip to Indy, I made sure to hit up Luna Music on my way out of town. The first time I visited a year ago, I […]

    Pingback by 68 – Rival Schools « Infinite Shuffle — May 8, 2011 @ 12:32 am

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