Sound — 8
Alberta Cross is a rock band based in Brooklyn, whose founding members come from Sweden and England. This gives their sound a unique combination of American and British influences. The music is very blues-based and soulful, but has darker, more melancholy undertones that I find pretty appealing. Don't get me wrong; there's nothing especially experimental or groundbreaking here, but I think it stands out from a lot of similar indie-ish rock bands out there. There are a lot of heavy, distorted, wall-of-sound style guitar riffs as well as more Southern/country style tunes, but it couldn't really be considered "hard rock" and (thankfully) doesn't sound like Lynyrd Skynyrd either. The production is good; everything is clear and pronounced, although sometimes to me it seems a little vocal-heavy, but that's just personal preference. Overall from the first few listens I really like this album, especially since I came across it pretty much by accident and had never heard of the band before.
Lyrics — 7
To me, the lyrics always come in second place behind the instrumentation and feel of the music, and the lyrics here don't really stand out to me. They seem to focus on loneliness and being tired of living in the city and they seem to fit the music pretty well, but they're nothing special. As for the vocals, the singer Petter Stakee reminds me a lot of Neil Young or Jim James from My Morning Jacket as well as someone like Liam Gallagher from Oasis. He has a pretty good range, but at times he starts to sound a little whiny to me. I do think his voice is fairly unique, and I wouldn't ever mistake him for someone else.
Overall Impression — 9
I hear a lot of influences from indie/folk bands like My Morning Jacket and Band Of Horses as well as British bands like Oasis, The Stone Roses, or even maybe early Radiohead. The song "Rise From The Shadows" is one of my favorites. It's a pretty chill song with some psychedelic keyboards and vocal effects and then a huge sounding climax. "City Walls" is another good one; its a slower song with dark sounding acoustic guitar and atmospheric keyboards and then a big, heavy chorus. But really all the songs are good, nothing you could call filler. I can definitely listen to the whole thing all the way through. This album will appeal to fans of some of the bands I mentioned earlier, or any fan of most styles of rock music. I would recommend it to anyone, and if I lost it I would buy it again for sure.