It’s not often that a band gets signed before they’ve even released anything, but the Tunbridge Wells four-piece, CITIES, are already under the wings of Dramamime Management (Hang The Bastard, Slaves). Having only formed a year ago, their support slots are very admirable including big names like: Lower Than Atlantis and Funeral For A Friend. Their self-titled debut EP shows how hard they’ve worked in a year and even how far they will go in the future.
CITIES have already been compared to the likes of Mallory Knox and Max Raptor, and ‘You Deserve Anything’ is proof enough of this theory, as it offers a very strong opening to the four-track release. At some points during this first song, and especially in the vocals, it feels like their passion is bursting to come out. Not only that, but the vocals provided by Ryan Checksfield are pushed to the limits with brilliant results.
With an opening to rival any Yellowcard song, ‘One Of These Days’ boasts a high-pitched guitar line to feign a violin sound and is initially quite exciting. However the track falls flat with its fairly empty chorus, despite the extra beef provided by the gang vocals. The drums are barely audible in parts and could really drive the track more. Not to mention the gorgeous vocals are just not up to scratch.
‘Only Alive’ picks the EP off the floor with a strong guitar-led introduction. The off-beat riffs in the verse lead into a ferocious chorus. The song encompasses all the strengths from the other tracks and channels these into just under four minutes of pure gold. The ending is simple but very tasty allowing the vocals to contrast well with the guitar-driven instrumentals.
There are challenging vocals from the outset during ‘The Early Hours’ that could be a bit more polished – but the rough-cut sound is more genuine. A very chunky chorus keeps the levels up for the whole song. Throw a little bit of swearing into the mix and you have a deliciously angsty ending track to the very impressive EP. Good job lads!
Reviewer: Lizzi Hart