“Alberta Cross hasn’t had an original idea since the day they started,” if you follow music blogs or the rock press. The Cross sound is favorably compared to Van Morrison, the Black Crowes, the Band, Depeche Mode, Neil Young, and the Kings of Leon — or all of them, which is impossible. Alberta Cross does seem like a lot of other bands, but in this decade of musical recycling, so do many others. Perhaps what throws a critic off is that Alberta Cross began life in the U.K., and as many U.K. bands before them, the Cross tends to romanticize American music. But in this case it is Southern rock — not the blues or the Woodstock/Laurel/Topanga vibe of the ’60s — that Alberta Cross is spoon-feeding to pop fans from their new vantage point in Brooklyn.
Petter Ericson Stakee’s vocals live in the high registers, but they carry a polish unlike anything wheezed out by the Band. Alberta Cross swaggers with self-conscious teen braggadocio, and there’s familiarity in their classic-rock power-chord posture. Can one band be the sum total of all things pop? Perhaps. But the thing that Alberta Cross owns is this: they have the sound of loneliness down cold.
Singer/guitarist Stakee, a Swede, started the band in the West End with a bassist named Terry Wolfers. They hired organist Alec Higgins, guitarist Sam Kearney, and drummer Austin Beede and relocated to New York. 2009’s debut Broken Side of Time earned them headliner status in 2010. The name “Alberta Cross” is said to be neither person nor thing — Stakee, in what may have been a little tour-bus humor, said to reporters that the band’s name is an anagram for “Scab Realtors.”
Children of Nova and Patrick Bates also perform.
ALBERTA CROSS: The Casbah, Wednesday, August 24, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $8.