Reigns Band Dilutes Bracing Blues With Throwaway Modern Rock

The Reigns Band

The Reigns Band

Singer/guitarist/songwriter Evan Melgaard switches between a raw, naked blues tone and crunching hard-rock riffs on his band's self-titled debut, and he's got a burly, booming voice suited for both blues and rock. The trouble is the songs—at his best, Melgaard writes standard white-boy blues rock ("Shot and a Beer" and "Any Other Way" are obvious references to Stevie Ray Vaughn and late-period Allman Brothers). Melgaard raises the formulaic songs with bracing blues leads. But the bright spots are interrupted by ham-fisted, anonymous alt-rock in the spirit of Nickelback and Three Doors Down, throwaway modern rock that dilutes the impact of the better songs and of Melgaard's leads. The last two songs—a misguided metal cover of "Rocky Top" that also includes a snippet of "I Wanna Be Sedated" and the "It's great to be a Tennessee Vol" chant, and the Sublime-flavored novelty "Sexual Frustration"—cement the album's disarray.