It’s like the picture of a city with demons and wishes of welfare and walking towards better things that intertwine in every second; it’s the heartbeat of a big urban settlement that conserves majestically its past and coexists with its future made present. It is through figures of nostalgia that this music is found in Manchester.
This is City Reign through their second EP Number for Street Names (to be released in November 21st, preorder available) that this band shows this engine to move forward in five tracks, all with the essence of melodic riffs going through the same path in their very own way.
It is this gathering of sounds that brings feelings of harmony to the scenario drawn while paying attention to every detail, junction and twist, like a big puzzle creating an optimistic, yet realistic focus of this moment.
There is an exquisite work in sounds, as guitars maintain themselves in the air and are devoted to enforce vocals, working as a perfect chorus and bringing a variety of riffs that would bring at times a parallel turn to the story told, like the inner voice or chemical reaction in our bodies caused after certain words are stringed and pronounced; meanwhile, the bass guitar and drums meet in well defined reference points, showing what a bass guitar can become for drums : the melody of rhythm. ‘Out In The Cold’ is a very good example of this thought.
Drumming reminds me of 60’s styles, where fusions of American, African and English sounds brought more freedom to riffs, taking solid references to then play around with the whole set having strong support of floor toms, providing syncopate rhythms and jamming to the other pounding voices of the band. ‘Making Plans’, the first song (and actually the single of this EP), is the reminiscent of those sounds being also complemented by guitar riffs with strong rock & roll influences.
As fusions advance and bring some hints of the present through figures chosen to continue the statement, it still displays figures used in the past decade (and by that I meant the 90’s).
There are moments that remind me of Britpop through the expression of sharp, distorted and sometimes saturated guitars with extended voices, and a bass guitar that would remind our feet are still on the ground, as in the good style of Suede or Supergrass. Track 3, ‘The Line’, is the clear evidence of this memory.
A good reminder of present times and thoughts are track 2, ‘Sleep Easy’ and track 5, ‘Anywhere, Anyway’. The first brings the utmost of its past influences as sounds trapped in the streets of this city of many centuries, to then combine with the fresh idea caught from a record store; guitar riffs keep a conversation with vocals and between the 2 guitars, while both bass and drums become the guides to this topic, which has been a trend in present music. ‘Anywhere, Anyway’ starts its statement with an interesting effect of a guitar being tuned to then give room to acoustic guitars. This is again a good point to realize we are talking about a band that cares for every little detail of their music, showing that every grain of sand becomes a beach eventually. Great chorus for the last song, a magic closer indeed.
A good fusion of decades in five songs all ready to draw a smile upon your face. Details, hard lyrics, excellent voice color and sounds. This becomes a method to bring new tones and tunes to your everyday life.
If these songs could be the soundtrack of a movie, then the movie will be a very sad one with an amazingly happy ending when you less expect it to be so.
City Reign Website. Facebook. Myspace. Twitter. Last.fm. Soundcloud. Youtube.