Friday, April 21, 2006

Cities: dark post-punk

Cities: "A Theme"
"Lounge Act"
(from Cities 2006. Buy or download.)

I don't suppose the world really needs another post-punk revival band, but it's hard to object to Cities when they do it so well. Personally, I'm happy to adopt these local college kids over their comparable, if better-established peers in New York and London. I actually learned about Cities more than a year ago, after guitarist Robbie Mackey wrote an article in the Daily Tar Heel about music blogs, so it's exciting for me to see these guys starting to break big.

Their self-titled debut album was released on Yep Roc this week -- it's all dark, chimey guitars, churning rhythms and theatrical vocals. "A Theme" is the track they seem to be promoting, and it's the most classically post-punk (as I understand it) with the disco hi-hat running throughout. "Capitol" is similar, with a more foreboding edge. "Lounge Act" is another favorite of mine -- I love the guitar harmonics (or whatever the term is -- I'm a drummer) and the vaguely Bloc Party-ish sound.

Their album release show is next Friday at Local 506 with kind of a mixed bag of other local bands that I don't know well. Fin Fang Foom comes across at first glance as heavy post rock -- they've apparently added a cellist, which is generally a plus in my book. Idea of Beauty alternates between indie rock and something much heavier -- you know I don't mind the heavy, but the vocals are a deal-breaker here. Heads Down Thumbs Up are an instrumental quartet that aren't as heavy as the other two. All in all, not what I would have expected as support for Cities, but maybe there's a certain dark drama that ties them all together.


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