Glad Days

The Sounds Won't Stop

Kingdom of Mustang, a Virginia-based outfit formed in 2017, has been a prolific force in the indie scene, releasing a steady stream of five albums. Their latest, Glad Days, stands out in a landscape often dominated by nihilistic, grid-formed sounds, instead embracing the golden era of recording with refreshing sincerity.

In a world steeped in doom and gloom, Glad Days offers a much-needed breath of genuine joy. The band's enthusiasm is infectious, evident from the opening track “More Than They Deserve.” Harmonies intertwine with just the right amount of fuzz-laden guitars, delivering a hook that’s impossible not to smile at.

Following is “Talk Talk Talk,” a track that effortlessly channels the spirit of beloved bands from the '70s and '80s. The accordion intro sets the stage for a nostalgic yet invigorating journey. The titular track, “Glad Day,” emerges as a standout, balancing introspection with optimism and hope, showcasing the band's nuanced songwriting. With fourteen tracks, the album unfolds naturally, a testament to the band's old-school approach to album-making in an era dominated by singles.

This adherence to the album format as a cohesive art form is both a nod to the past and a refreshing stance in the present music landscape. Glad Days is a triumph, a record that feels undeniably real in a sea of synthetic sounds. Kingdom of Mustang isn't just getting started—they're laying down a marker for what genuine, heartfelt music can and should be.

Mesmerized

From the moment Glad Days by Kingdom of Mustang bursts to life, it’s like stepping into a time machine set for the golden era of the late ’60s and ’70s. The band’s commitment to authentic songwriting is immediately apparent, but it’s the production quality and overall aesthetic that truly transports you.

For those who grew up with the lush, analogue warmth of this musical epoch, the album is a nostalgic balm, a refreshing departure from the often sterile soundscapes of contemporary production. Clocking in at a robust fourteen tracks, Glad Days defies modern trends of brevity. There’s no fat to trim here—each song stands sturdy and compelling, a testament to Kingdom of Mustang’s dedication to crafting great music.

They eschew unnecessary embellishments, focusing instead on the core elements that make a song resonate. Tracks like “Talk Talk Talk” channel the frenetic energy of garage rock, infused with punk’s raw edge and a dash of pop sensibility. Meanwhile, “Say Hey to Blue” showcases the band’s versatility, pivoting in a direction that feels both fresh and familiar.

And then there’s “If Your Mama Don’t You Lies,” a track that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Beatles b-side compilation, shimmering with melodic brilliance. The album is a treasure trove of gems, each song a polished piece of the band’s meticulous craftsmanship. Glad Days isn’t just a nod to the past; it’s a revival of the era’s ethos, where every note, every lyric, is honed to perfection. Kingdom of Mustang has created an album that demands to be played in full, a seamless experience through a vessel that feels both timeless and urgently present.

Recording Artists Guild Digital Magazine

Kingdom of Mustang are from Charlottesville, VA and bring together the musical talents of Mark Roebuck, Tim Ryan, Rusty Speidel, and Michael Clarke. Their extensive discography culminates in their latest offering, Glad Days, an album that finds its groove in a blend of classic influences and contemporary sensibilities.  

Drawing inspiration from legends like The Beatles and The Byrds, Glad Days weaves in threads of power pop, punk, and alternative rock. Attentive listeners will appreciate the subtle shifts in style throughout the album, but the band’s penchant for crafting inviting melodies remains a constant.

Each track is a testament to their dedication to melody, making the album a treasure trove for those who appreciate well-crafted tunes. The unpretentious and buoyant nature of Glad Days makes it an ideal soundtrack for summer festivities, whether you're at a festival, hosting a BBQ, or simply commuting.

The fourteen tracks are polished, meticulously rehearsed, and radiate the sheer joy the band clearly had during recording. This is an album to hit play and let it run its course. While there are variations in style, the overarching mood is consistently upbeat and spirited, creating a cohesive emotional experience.

Standout tracks like “Say Hey To Blue,” “And Then The King Of Hearts,” and “The Best Thing” highlight the band's ability to deliver memorable hooks and infectious energy. Kingdom of Mustang is in top form on Glad Days, making it a must-have for your summer playlist. Don’t wait—dive into this collection of sun-soaked anthems and let the good times roll.

By ​Dino DiMuro on Pitch Perfect

4.0 out of 5

Playing jangly pop rock together since 2017, Kingdom of Mustang from Charlottesville, Virginia has just released its fifth album titled Glad Days. This seasoned quartet consists of Mark Roebuck (guitar/vocals), Tim Ryan (bass/guitar/keyboards/percussion/vocals), Michael Clarke (drums/percussion/vocals) and Rusty Speidel (guitar/vocals). The band has been heavily influenced by 70’s and 80’s power pop artists like Shoes, Big Star, the Byrds and The Records.

For this new album, the band decided to capture themselves live in the studio with minimal overdubs. Sweet, twangy guitar arrangements and stacked vocal harmonies abound. Recording, mixing and mastering was by bassist-keyboardist Tim Ryan at Studio 607  in Charlottesville using Reaper, and it sounds crisp and amazing. The band sent a full list of their music arsenal (lots of vintage guitars and gear!) but frankly I’m too anxious to get to these tracks!

“More Than They Deserve” is the kind of song that seems to start with the chorus, which is always an interesting changeup. As expected, the guitars are bright and in perfect sync with each other, the tempos are upbeat and danceable and the vocals are harmonious while being totally approachable. Though this is a great song with Instant Hit potential, it’s got such a clean, Beatles “Help” like jangle quality that I’d be happy just enjoying the mix. There’s little touches like some background “Oooh” vocals that might actually be a keyboard moment. I just can’t tell and I love that!

“Talk Talk Talk” jumps ahead a few years to align with the half-serious, half-humorous style of They Might Be Giants. The vocals even have a bit of Squeeze grandeur, though without the English accent. “Glad Days” has a similar title to R. Stevie Moore’s “Glad Music” and there’s even some similarity in the throwback music. Singer Mark Roebuck seems to be “quavering” his voice as he sings, adding another flavor to the song. “The End From The Middle” sounds even more like Squeeze as filtered through early Beatles. I admit I just double-checked the group’s Bandcamp page to make sure they weren’t from England!

“Say Hey To Blue” is a great idea for a song, because even though I’m not exactly sure what it means, it had me singing and clapping along with abandon. The shouts of “Hey hey hey” and the cowbell beat are the stuff of pure joy. “All You’ve Got To Do Is Love” sounds like a Beatles title, and does in fact evoke John Lennon in the lead vocals. The chorus uses those classic 60’s suspended chords like the old classic “Needles and Pins.” I got happy, early Elvis Costello vibes from the poppy “Not The Special Girl,” especially from the keyboards and tempo (along with an ending copped from “Radio Radio”). “Don’t Count Me Out” is another total British Invasion-fest, reaching beyond the Beatles to those other bands few remember.

“And Then The King Of Hearts” is an amiable pop rocker with a surprisingly sophisticated chorus, skating through several changes before returning to the verses, along with a sweet lead solo. Great, unexpected ending too. A late favorite! “Far From The Loneliness” combines early Beatles vocals (especially that Lennon grit) with another deceptively complex but winning arrangement. They toss off a bonus harmony guitar section without breaking a sweat!

​There’s 14 songs total and though I skipped a few for space, every one of them is worth a listen or several. If you love retro pop rock sounds and attitude, this is the band for you!