Friday, March 1, 2013

CITY REIGN: "Another Step"

Rating: RRRR
Label: CarBootRecords/ 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Manchester - a City United in music? Giggs & Kompany are excused as this particular team of musicians are determined to score with their very first shot at goal. The U.K. four-piece City Reign - name coming from the Ryan "Not Bryan" Adams' song 'City Rain City Streets', and their full length debut "Another Step" is the indie guitar record fuelled by sheer ambition and alcohol?

Guitarist Mike Grice and vocalist Chris Bull met at a Ryan Adams gig (hint the moniker). The two hit it off bonding over a love of Adams (Not Bryan), R.E.M. and The National. They've certainly been the indie talk of the town lately and the recent U.K. tour caused Clash Magazine into recognising them as one of the best bands on the circuit. All the band members are professional performers and they keep you on your toes throughout the album.

Soundwise, they aren't all that USA though, mainly because they play a style of indie that smacks of old style eighties, but also becasue the singer is British and proper British I may add. I do have a soft spot for superb alternative eighties UK pop and I can't get enough of The Jam, The Smiths, The Cure, or any other 'The' band for that matter. Throw in the hint of early nineties Brit-Rock, as well as REM, Ryan, and you're pretty close to the core of City Reign. Very solid material throughout. Nontheless, "Retaliate" gets the vote of best track since there's something special and out of ordinary about the stripped down indie tune. Recommended.

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