With their first release Broken Side of Time in 2009, Alberta Cross was unfortunately dismissed by some as Brits going Southern rock, which made sense at the time, as the band sounded like a bunch of kids from London who moved to America and attempted to do a poor imitation of My Morning Jacket. But on their newest five-track EP, The Rolling Thunder EP, the band reinvents itself and is much better for it.
The album works like a five-act play, complete with rising action, climax and denouement. “Money For The Weekend” starts off the EP with a fun Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-style bang. What the lyrics lack in depth, with essentially the entire song being the lyrics “There is your money for the weekend, I got a pocket full of change” repeated over and over, the song makes up for in fun.
“Rambin’ Home” starts off slow, but rises in action as the album’s best example of the vocal range of lead singer Petter Ericson Stakee. “Wait,” the album’s best track, expands the band’s sound beyond the classic rock vibe and has them experimenting with unique sounds, framed by a simple piano part. With “Driving With Myself,” the band starts to fall into their old patterns, becoming almost too generic for their own good, but they save themselves with the simple, yet elegant “Rolling Thunder,” ending the EP on a understated note that works beautifully.
Alberta Cross seems like a band that was trying struggling to find their identity, not straying too far from what they know with their first few works. Thankfully with The Rolling Thunder EP, the band tries new things, experiments a bit and takes some chances. Hopefully this is a glimpse of what the future holds for the band, willing to find themselves, not content to retread their steps in the past.