by Claire Fullerton on Amazon Music
Right out of the gate on Kingdom of Mustang’s, More, opening number Sunshine Again begins the bright mood. In the midst of a compelling, jangled intelligence, Mark Roebuck’s resonating vocals get up under the note to ride its cresting wave with nuanced character so ageless and accessible you’ll want to play it repeatedly. I say this because I did, as I did with each of the 17 feel-good songs that held me captive in their poignant, singular vignettes. Kingdom of Mustang’s More is a joyride through one complex sound picture after another, with flowing structure, poignant power-chords, gorgeous melodies, and intricate guitar layering that will please everybody. Those of us who have followed Mark Roebuck devotedly from early Deal days will marvel at his distinguished evolution while in the midst of an assembly of musicians I found utterly jaw-dropping. Seasoned musicians will tip their hat in reverence to this compilation of well-wrought tunes that test the fringes of neat power-pop music, and the layman will glory in its lambent, melodic moments: “Setting the World on Fire” and “The Story We Tell” being cases in point. There’s not an unaffecting moment in More’s thorough constancy, simply put, one highlight follows another. Combined, it is a delightful experience: a canticle to the power of music itself and a gift of a collection you’ll love forever.