Monday, September 01, 2008

City 13 Album - Better Late Than Never Again

Where Can I Buy One: iTunes, Not on Your Radio, HMV,
Due: September 22nd

Although I receive a lot of odd requests in my inbox every day, I do often reward the people that are the first to ask for something. The first person to ask me for a free product got one mere days later. Likewise City 13 are the first band to ask for me for a review, and given how hard it is for new bands to break through it seemed only fair to take a look at their debut album: Better Late Than Never.

A little apprehensive about putting it on for the first time in a crowded office of people, I settled instead for a quiet Sunday morning session to make the most of the album. I needn’t have worried about offending the conservative work crowd, the rock stylings of City 13 are a blend of punk and much more relaxed stylings that everyone can enjoy.

At times their rock origins show through with the likes of “Suffer For It” and “Puppet Strings” but they never resort to blatant heavy shouting to add angst to a song. In fact the entire album has quite an upbeat tone throughout. Sure the lyrics may portray the usual stories of “F**K it all” but it’s done in an uplifting way rather than in a grunge like fashion.

Some songs even defy genre descriptions all together. The almighty “To the Darkness” being a particular song that offers strong guitar chords and a fantastically down-tempo middle, bringing you back up for the ending. Guaranteed to get you jumping up and down, it’s a stand out track.

Not sure if they’re for you? The tracks borrow influences from the Offspring, All American Rejects, The Atari’s and Lost Prophets. Even tack 5 “Walking for Miles” has a bit of a feeling of The Calling. If you like one of these bands you’ll enjoy it, like most of them and it’s a no brainer.

Other songs to look out for are Summer Song, and my favourite track “Worst Mistake” for its pure melodic summer style. Lastly “Better Late Than Never Again”, ends the album perfectly with over seven minutes of tight lyrics, finishing with a fantastic guitar solo.

Although you could argue the vocals would benefit from being a notch louder or crisper (a demonic overlay on “Puppet Strings” sounding weak when it should be the strongest line) the overall sound quality is excellent for an independent band debut. To sum up; the focus on instrumentals, manic drum beats and long guitar riffs make them the best thing to come out of Wolverhampton in years.

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Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).