Alberta Cross, "Broken Side of Time"

Album Review
4.5

British transplant Alberta Cross' full-length debut, "Broken Side of Time," is a step forward in cementing the Brooklyn-based band's place in American blues-rock. Taking cues from the folk and alternative music scenes of the '90s, with undertones of American roots and a British blues infusion, singer Petter Ericson Stakee's expressiveness lends a spectral quality to the group's brooding alt-rock sound. With the quivering emotion of Neil Young in the strangled tenor of Jim James, Stakee laments on "Song Three Blues," "I just wanna live is that a cry." A fuming reinvention of Alberta Cross' folky roots (as heard on its 2007 EP "The Thief & the Heartbreaker"), "ATX" features slide guitar over heavy instrumentation. And the title track's wistful chorus breaks from distorted chaos, as if manifesting from the eye of a storm. Tempering heavier blues-alternative influences with a softer folk-rock feel, "Broken Side of Time" leaves an unmistakable mark.