January 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Mt. Royal – Self-Titled

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Mt. Royal
Self-Titled
Bella Union
Street: 01.27
Mt. Royal = Cults + Cold War Kids + Poeina Suddarth
Contemporary blues, soul, and a teensy dash of dreary new wave mark this release. Twirling organs and Flaming Lips-esque bass lines on “Missing Reward” kick it off, offering some fervid yet somewhat-restrained vocals that explore a wide range. “Black Thorn” starts with some shadowy keys that remind me of Bowser’s Castle in old-school Mario before the wavering vocals step back in. “More” has a certain Peter Bjorn and John feel and is a little more upbeat, though vocals stay in the shadows. “Yes Your Majesty” has great bass that travels over casual synth backings and lazy slide guitar. “Mockingbird” has nice acoustic strums over snappy, quick-paced drums—it reminds me of closing credits for a 007 movie. “What’s On My Grave” is hymn-like, though somewhat playful, and really gets cooking toward the end. It’s a good EP, but not enough to satiate my thirst for more. –CJ Morgan
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