Incorporating The Music Fix
21st September 2009 12:00:00
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Alberta Cross - Broken Side Of Time

Rock bands are bizarre entities at times. The long established rules clearly state that to gain any attention you need to start off loud, cocky and brash. After three or four successful albums you can then channel your inner hippy and get all folky. Alberta Cross clearly forgot to read this manual with their initial release a whimsical acoustic release in 2007. At a band meeting sometime later, someone (probably the drummer) must have crashed in with a copy of “The Manual” under his arm and, as a result of that epiphany, we have this debut full-length album which attacks the senses with a ferocious energy akin to a ferret trapped in Richard Whiteley’s trousers.

‘Song 3Three Blues’ kicks things off with a stirring Neil Young-style guitar riff and high pitched vocals that clearly sets out their stall to thrill. We move swiftly into ‘ATX’, a swaggering, Oasis-style epic that knocks into a cocked hat anything that band have produced in over a decade. ‘Old Man Chicago’ is a pathos soaked, organ ballad that wouldn’t be out of place on a Hold Steady record. Are you counting these influences? There will be a test later.

We then come to the centrepiece of the album, title track ‘Broken Side Of Time’. A heavy, riff-laden intro leads into a classic southern rock style epic reminiscent of the legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song builds, slows and builds again to a climax that leaves you breathless and aching for more of the same. Cunningly they change tempo and slip into ‘Rise From The Shadows’ a fuzzed up but somehow laid back musing on life.

‘City Walls’ follows and is probably a little to similar to the brothers Gallagher for comfort but a small blip like that is easily forgivable when it is done with such panache. The driving rhythms of ‘Leave Us & Forgive Us’ could easily close the album but that task is left to ‘Ghost of The City Life’ a fragile, yet strangely uplifting, tale of the desperation and desires that led to the making of this album.

To produce a contender for best rock record of the year would be an amazing achievement for any band, to do it on your debut album is astonishing. They deserve all the plaudits that will surely be coming their way.
Track List
1. Song 3Three Blues
2. ATX
3. Taking Control
4. Old Man Chicago
5. Broken Side Of Time
6. Rise From The Shadows
7. City Walls
8. The Thief & The Heartbreaker
9. Leave Us And Forgive Us
10. Ghost Of City Life
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About Greg Belton
Despite being a seasoned gig goer for more years than I care to remember, I’m a fairly recent convert to writing about music. My tastes have undergone seismic shifts over the years and now take in punk, indie, goth, metal, Americana and anything else with a nice tune. A not too secret penchant for the work of Nick Cave will probably be reflected in the amount of his music I own. All plaudits greatly welcome - all criticism can be filed directly in the bin.