A Little More Time with Reigning Sound finds the long-running garage rockin’ soul outfit Reigning Sound crafting an excellent pandemic record by lyrically yearning for emotional connections, as well as the physical recording process.
Planning on capturing a fresh batch of tunes with the current backing band in New York City, songwriting frontman Greg Cartwright was forced to reconsider due to Covid-19 restrictions. Returning to his hometown of Memphis he reconvened the “Memphis Lineup” of the band (Alex Greene – Vocals, Keys, Percussion, Greg Roberson – Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Jeremy Scott – Bass, Vocals, Graham Winchester – Drums, Percussion) who were responsible for Reigning Sounds earliest recordings.
The newest album harkens back to 2001’s debut Break Up, Break Down with smoky garage soul/rhythm & blues along with slight punk/country tendencies as Cartwright leads the troops through his backward-sounding/forward-looking songs. Early rock and roll are at the heart of all of the tracks as organ swells and pop sensibilities fuel “A Little More Time”, hearty riffs and banging piano pushes the raucousness on the lone cover here “I Don’t Need That Kind Of Lovin’” while weepy violin and cello add to the less successful original “I’ll Be Your Man”.
Every other song snaps to attention especially opener “Let’s Do It Again”, which gleefully shakes itself through the failed hobbies of the pandemic, and “You Don’t Know What Your Missing” which sounds like a striking slice of girl group glory from an era long gone. Layered guitar work and organ fuels “Make It Up”, a pedal steel arrives to add some sawdust on the floor during “Moving & Shaking” and “A Good Life” while Coco Hames joins the party, rekindling The Parting Gifts, for a gorgeous duet with Cartwright titled “Just When”.
A track like “You Ain’t Me” displays the strengths of Reigning Sounds meticulous retro style as each sound/instrument/vocal seems custom made for its spot as the rollicking number brings in jangling guitars, pianos, shakers, crisp drums, backing ooh and aah’s, plus many more mini-musical touches that vibrate with life over its three-minute run time. Album closer “On and On” allows Cartwright to push slightly more into Phil Spector territory while not overdoing it.
Another winner from Cartwright and the Memphis lineup of Reigning Sound as A Little More Time with Reigning Sound continues the outfit’s success story of delivering modern-day tweaks on retro rock and roll.
Photo by Jaimie Harmon