Reigning Sound, Home for Orphans

Erick Zeidenberg

By Erick Zeidenberg

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Anyone familiar with Greg Cartwright's other work (the Oblivians, '68 Comeback) may be taken aback by the relatively dulcet vibe of Home For Orphans, which seems to take its cue from the title of the Reigning Sound's previous album Too Much Guitar. These tales of love and loss are a softer affair, a nice change-up from the raw power of the past. The opener "Find Me Now," with its swirling-organ foundation, is a heartbreak tale that's more Bob Dylan than it is garage rock. Two songs, "If You Can't Give Me Eveything" and "Funny Thing," are re-worked versions of numbers from Too Much Guitar; instead of an electrified kiss-off, the new version of "If You Can't Give Me Everything" is a quieter, mournful reading that uncovers a more mature perspective on the singer's discontent. On "Pretty Girl," the "sha la la" chorus illuminates the glimmer of hope that all hopeless romantics keep inside. Home For Orphans moves the mood out of the garage and into a darkened living room where the feeling is just as spirited, if less ragged.