Alberta Cross: Alberta Cross

Overdue third album of bittersweet Americana.

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Formed in 2005 by Swedish émigré Petter Ericson Stakee and Waltham Cross native Terry Wolfers, these melodic roots rockers have toured extensively without ever making a commercial breakthrough.

With Wolfers having now departed, the follow-up to 2012’s Songs Of Patience, recorded in a church in Woodstock, finds Stakee in reflective mood. ‘Getting tired of wandering,’ he sighs during Heavy Words, while on a mournful Water Mountain, his yearning vocal almost matches the other-worldly majesty of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James.

However, some imaginative arrangements – notably on a brass-heavy Ghost Of Santa Fe – can’t disguise the fact that the transcendent qualities this music demands are too often absent.

Paul Moody is a writer whose work has appeared in the Classic Rock, NME, Time Out, Uncut, Arena and the Guardian. He is the co-author of The Search for the Perfect Pub and The Rough Pub Guide.