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Alberta Cross

The Thief & the Heartbreaker

(Fiction; US: 11 Sep 2007; UK: 14 May 2007)

Country rock will never go out of style. Alberta Cross just wants to drive that point home. Even if they’re not from the Southern U.S., the group has the chops to deliver much of this material with the same authenticity of Robertson, Helm and those other ragtag bunch of members in that band. Just take a listen to the gorgeous, downbeat “Low Man” if there’s any doubt. If you’re still up in the air, then “The Devil’s All You Ever Had” will bring chills to one’s spine a la The Guthries. The impressive title track only furthers that idea greatly as vocalist Petter Ericson Stakee nails the track along the lines of Matt Mays & El Torpedo. Meanwhile, the warm and inviting “Lucy Rider” is as perfect as Ryan Adams and The Cardinals could have made it. Things head down more of a ‘60s country rock road with the hippie-ish “Hard Breaks”. What’s most surprising is how stunningly well this comes off, with the band sounding like they’ve lived each of these tunes. The seven-song EP is one of the best you’ll be lucky enough to pick up, resembling a full album’s quality but leaving one wanting a lot more.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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