Alberta Cross mean well. The duo's brand of charmingly inoffensive soft-rock is easy on the ear and full of the kind of earnest positivity that haunts Chris Martin when he's asleep.
"I've been dreaming ... believe in everything," sings frontman Petter Ericson Stakee on I Believe in Everything, a wistful piano-based ballad that comes on like Liam Gallagher fronting Mumford & Sons. It's a rare moment that works on Songs of Patience, which mostly finds Alberta Cross suffering under the weight of their influences. There's an obvious debt to British acts on the Supergrass-style psych-rock of Crate of Gold and understated Kasabian ramblings of Lay Down, without any of their own individuality shining through. And they veer all over the place, from the grunty rawk and sneering vocals of Money For the Weekend (Pocket Full of Shame), to the radio-ready melodies and - ugh - One Direction pop of Wasteland. And in Ophelia on My Mind they even try to pull off their very own Wonderwall, complete with stirring strings and Noel Gallagher-isms. Luckily, they have one ace up their sleeve: Magnolia, a stunningly epic string-laden sing-along single that's an anthem-in-waiting for summer music festivals. If they've got a few more of those in them, Alberta Cross might just be on to something.
Verdict: Brooklyn act gets lost in their influences
- TimeOutBy Chris Schulz @chris__schulz Email Chris