Album review: Needtobreathe - The Reckoning

There’s no evidence of oxygen starvation on the American rockers’ fourth album - its heart is as big as the open road, and both feature heavily.

Helmed by brothers Bear and Bo Rineheart (yes, really) this four-piece from South Carolina set out to create a record ‘in the way that people used to make records’, that willl stand the test of time.

Certainly The Reckoning is no slouch, but it’ll be some time before any of its widescreen, almost cinematic tunes face the modern American songbook litmus test.

In the meantime this fourth album is built for stadiums, packed with surging choruses, natty hooks and Bear’s part-rough, part-quivering vocals that recall a jellified Eddie Vedder.

It’s a heady mix, reliably emotive and redolent in parts of Springsteen’s timeless painting of American dreams, using themes of redemption, escape and struggle.

There’s a keen sense of drama, particularly on the rousing slow-stomper Slumber and the join-the-dots majesty of the title track, but they sure sell every song, loading them with great shovels of emotion. Stirring stuff.

4 stars