Kingdom Of Mustang
by JAM Records
This CD is such a pleasure to review and so easy to describe. Kingdom of Mustang waves high the flag of classic jangle rock. That means attention all BYRDS, TOM PETTY, BIG STAR and TEENAGE FANCLUB fans ! This band is for you ! Here you get 17 original songs from a band that truly understands how to craft great jangle pop tunes. That means 12 strings, tambourines, nice harmony vocals and sweet melodies ! GRADE A all the way. Don't miss out on this
by Jamie Robash on Divide and Conquer
The Charlottesville Virginia singer/songwriter Mark Roebuck first gained prominence for the songs featured on Goodbye September,which included a smattering of songs he put out with his ‘80s infused power pop band The Deal. The Deal skirted major label interest briefly and was signed by Warner Brothers’ subsidiary Bearsville. But it was under Roebucks mostly solo record “The World and All Within,” that the band he had played several shows with began to work more collaboratively. This collaborative process brought about the latest Roebuck fronted band Kingdom of Mustang. Fellow members include, songwriting partner Tim Ryan, guitarist Rusty Speidel and drummer Michael Clarke.The band’s eponymous debut is a behemoth of seventeen songs that reside in that ‘90s alternative pop sound that sounds as welcoming as it ever did all those years ago. The opening track “Kingdom of Mustang” sets the stage with smooth and catchy jangle pop guitars and cool vocal melodies and harmonies that sound sunny and warm. This warm and sunny vibe of catchy rock riffs and super tight and soaring vocal harmonies continues on “Jester on the Throne” while later on “Another Song for You” the band turns their ear to a more ballad-sanctioned rhythm that would sound perfect as a radio single. On this rather expansive record they keep on conjuring up such bright and sugary pop tunes as “Undone” which could give one a veritable sweet tooth if listened to for too long. Then they slip into the more raucous and hard wired guitar-rock glam-jam “Ketamine” before showing off their balladry again on the R.E.M.-esque style beauty of “Lost City.” They channel that band again but on their more nuanced-rock side as they do on the pop-centric and wittily titled, “Dog Eat World,” and pull off a solid alt country closer, “Live Wire.” For as many songs as Kingdom of Mustang has on this record, seventeen as I mentioned earlier, they all seem to stand out from one another, which I found to be a truly amazing feat, and quite an anomaly at least to me. But the versatility is not so much so that Kingdom of Mustang ever ends up sounding piecemeal, which is always pleasurable.
by CVILLE Weekly
The trifecta! I’m a sucker for a statement of purpose, and what else could a self-titled song on a self-titled album possibly be? Kingdom of Mustang’s entry is well-tempered power pop, and more than an ode, because these guys were there—KoM comprises membersof legendary 1970s-80s Charlottesville
bands like The Deal and SGG&L. The 17 (!) cuts on this debut could be used in a songwriting textbook—the mid-tempo chapter; “Ketamine” is the only fast one—and their hooks and harmonies will fill the air at Durty Nelly’s on June 15.
by Claire Fullerton on Amazon Music
A Must Have ! I remember when I was young and made sense of the world through music because it spoke for me and helped to define me. The Beatles, The Birds, Big Star, The Posies, many bands of the eighties—all produced songs in which I could live fully within the parameters of an entire experience in under five minutes. This joyous CD by Kingdom of Mustang allowed me to jump into just such an ineffable experience. 17 songs of airtight, soaring jangle pop so compelling, I knew from the eponymous first tune that I was right in the midst of my next musical obsession. And I’m still in it. I can’t get off this CD. And Mark Roebuck’s vocal delivery of measured breath as he searches for the note, finds it, tries it on for a spell, then commits to it gets me every time. I love every song, and each works separately as part of a glorious, masterfully arranged, beautifully produced, intelligent whole. At too many junctures through this work of art, I think, “Here’s my favorite song: Love Lost Love; no, it’s Satin Rag; wait, it’s Malkin.” Kingdom of Mustang is THAT kind of project. It’s an uplifting ride for musician and layperson alike, and exemplary of why we listen to music in the first place: we want to be ignited, we want to be transported, inspired, awed, thrilled. I know already that these songs will never grow old, they will simply deepen, as good songs do. I can not commend Kingdom of Mustang enough, beyond my enthusiastic recommendation. Get hold of Kingdom of Mustang now, you’ll hear exactly what I mean!
by Pete Crigler on The Daily Vault
On this project featuring singer/songwriter Mark Roebuck (formerly of The Deal) and a group of friends/fellow musicians, the lineup really gives it everything they have. This is a seventeen-track, hour-plus record written by Roebuck and bassist/singer Tim Ryan. The band has a ‘70s, easy listening kind of feel. Hearing the opening title track, I get a Firefall sort of vibe when I listen to them, which really does a lot to help enhance the song. “Love Lost Love” also seems a bit like Firefall, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
“Alwayswhereyouare” has a nice mellow attitude to it; it’s not too loud and heavy and just right for the general masses. It also features nice harmony vocals from the whole band, and overall, it is definitely a highlight.
Overambitious is definitely the standout term for a record like this, and while there are some truly great songs, others like “Sister Sledgehammer” could’ve been relegated to B-side status. The performance just really isn’t up to snuff. The quickness of “Let Go” makes up for it; this one is another brisk tune that works and has a nice mellow vibe. The best way to describe this record is ‘rock music without the RAWK!’
“Satin Rag” is about as downtrodden as the band gets, and while it’s a good enough track, it’s incredibly depressing given the almost upbeat nature of the rest of the record. Still, this is definitely worth a listen to counterbalance the rest of the songs here. The band doesn’t really get heavy until “Ketamine,” when they turn up the amps and really go for the gold. Even though they’re a bit heavier here, the harmonies are still omnipresent and everything works really well together, making it a different sort of rock song with big guitars and perfect harmonies.
The album’s closing track, “Live Wire,” brings all their influences together into a well portioned sonic platter. In the end, this may be one of the most awe-inspiring projects of the year. It turned out well and ended up featuring some really good songs, making it another notch in Mark Roebuck’s already weighty musical crown.
Allen McCool on CD Baby
This is a spirit-lifting album. It is accessible and challenging from the get-go. In the departments of melody and lyrics, inter-agency memos must have been intense, because they are one with another. Where did the crashing beautiful power-pop dreams from all the best eras go? To the Kingdom of Mustang. Wailing, soulful expressive guitar solos, interwoven with REAL drum licks masterfully delivered by Clarke, lift this album above the clouds. Roebuck, Ryan, Speidel, et. al. collaborate beautifully in vocal expression as well. Though mostly new compositions, there are three deep-catalogue gems beautifully re-imagined here. HIGHLY RECOMMEND