Those who know Greg Cartwright’s work with Reigning Sound (and previously with the Oblivians and the Compulsive Gamblers) likely will tell you he’s one of the great songwriters of the past 20 years. Of course, it’s a relatively small segment who own Reigning Sound classics like the soulful and brittle Break Up, Break Down and the rambunctiously great Time Bomb High School. The band’s latest full-length, Shattered, was just released on Merge Records, and should rightfully turn Reigning Sound onto a few new ears. It’s also their best effort since 2005’s odds and ends collection, Home for Orphans. Cartwright strikes a perfect balance between his garage rock and R&B proclivities. Nothing sounds forced, and the songs feel like they’ve been given a little more TLC than those on the band’s last album, 2009’s Love & Curses. “North Cackalacky Girl” crackles like rock ’n’ roll did back in 1955—guitars, organ and harmonies melting together like butter. “If You Gotta Leave” shows Cartwright’s ability to pull aching sadness deep from the gut. This is the pure stuff. And with Cartwright now at a place where he’s not trying for too much guitar, he’s made room for more soul. Not that he’s ever lacked that.