You’ve got to admire a self-starter. Not even 18 months since formation, Cities have supported a number of great bands – Mallory Knox, Lower Than Atlantis and Funeral For a Friend, to name a few. After cultivating some new fans on the road, their self-titled EP is their chance to make a real mark.
You Deserve Anything is polished, and the intent is clear from the off. Sleek guitar work lures you in, and the all-too-common gang vocals appear swiftly; it doesn’t take long to feel like you’re ears are being cast back to circa 2004 with cleaner production. Ryan’s vocals fit very much with that era, and the band seems to throw a number of musical roads in for the listener.
One Of These Days is tight and punchy, before dropping you off the steep end of that rollercoaster. After the build up to something great, it strips it all back, with the undertone of arpeggios keeping it light before it picks back up again. This to-and-fro jolts, as proven by the fleeting interlude of a war cry-esque lyrical repetition over drums, and it feels the EP’s biggest issue.
The band have a lot of ideas but need to iron out the transitions a little better; it feels like they’re excitedly jumping between things. Only A Lie opens with another air of familiarity; in fact, by this point your mind is travelling through your young self’s discography trying to place all these familiarities. The verse tightens up, offering another side to their style in rhythm, but staying true to the overall tone.
But it’s closer The Early Hours that really changes things; an introductory crescendo sees the band repeat their setup of jolting between styles, but it feels more put together, more crafted. The chorus on the other hand, is gloriously explosive, yet as the song continues you’re back on your journey down memory lane.
Cities have a lot of good ideas, but with each unnatural jolt you’re reminded of someone. That’s not necessarily bad in itself, because the era that personally springs to mind is one of the finest. They are bold, polished and catchy, but really need to work on a more fluid and individual style to really make the brilliance of their songs clearer.