REIGNING SOUND: Abdication…for Your Love: LP

You might remember a weird minute when Toyota got a Mohawk. Toyota tried really hard to “relate” to the young ones in a way that would insert their ugly, boxy car into young America’s lifestyle. This excellent nine-song Reigning Sound offering was swept up in the “make Scion hip” wave and released under the “Scion” record label, eventually to the detriment of the fans because the album went out of print quickly, becoming both hard to find and expensive. Merge has stepped in and made the album available to us non-Scion drivers. Reigning Sound is a consistently great band. This material doesn’t represent a change in style or lifestyle like many “lost albums.” This is just nine more from a group waving the flag for a long time without trapping themselves in a retro-pattern. The album begins with “Lyin’ Girl.” It’s a jumper with a danceable, double snare slap beat and a whirling keyboard riff. “Everything I Do Is Wrong” follows: a slinky, late night offering you could imagine coming from The Zombies. “Can’t Hold On” kicks off with a driving keyboard riff and some solid soloing, leading into a cleverly assembled long chorus exemplifying the band’s quality songwriting. If you buy this album because you like the band’s output, you won’t be disappointed. If you feel you bought a Scion because of The Reigning Sound album, I’d love to hear more about it. –Billups Allen (Merge, mergerecords.com)