Issue February 2, 2011

Mirrors

U.S. Royalty
SELF-RELEASED

U.S. Royalty seems determined to please however they can. So much ground is covered on Mirrors, from pure atmosphere to folk to pop to noise, you don’t know quite what to expect from track to track. That’s a fine thing, except the band is better at being ambitious than delivering on ambition. At their best, U.S. Royalty is confident, melodic and complex: In “Mirrors,” folk, bluegrass and Brian Wilson-esque song structures blend crunchy guitars with a gentle country vibe. At their worst, they undermine themselves with witless guitar solos and wan Southern-rockisms. U.S. Royalty is a good band, with a priceless pop sense and production chops, but they haven’t quite found their identity yet.