REIGNING SOUND: Live at Goner Records: LP

Greg Cartwright is a practitioner of a rare form of musical telepathy. He got into my head as early as the count off to “TimeBombHigh School” and never left. From the beginning to the end of each song, I was able to foresee what was around each corner, not because Reigning Sound is predictable, rather they emit a distinct clarity of vision. They somehow strike every resounding chord, sing every soulful note, and charge through a catalog of memorable tunes without a misstep. As a live recording from nearly a decade ago, the production is crisp and Cartwright’s journeyman croon is in full force. Most importantly, all sixteen songs are remarkably prescient. The necessity for unfiltered, sweltering rock’n’roll (“Bad Man” is a prime example) is more dire than ever, given the latest trend of reverb-saturated punk that is afraid to be exposed. Instead of indulging in self-gratifying blues riffs, Reigning Sound exercises power in brevity, truncating songs into their purest, most refined elements. Now, I’m in the enviable position where I must dig through their entire discography. 

 –Sean Arenas (Goner)