City Reign – Indie-licous? Or just Indie?

2 Feb
They’re just so Indie.
Independent as grammar-nazi’s would call it. Indie-licous as I will call it.
Actually I’ll stick with Indie for the time being.

City Reign journey onto the music scene with their own sound, their own label, and their own style. They should then effectively tick all the boxes of future success. But do they?

I was sent two singular CD’s by guitarist Michael Grice. The first of which was their latest single ‘Out In The Cold’. It commences with a neatly spawned riff and then a kick of the drumbeat, which stabs the song into life. The vocals then pioneer their way into the song, with the opening line “You left me out in the cold” acting as a monologue-type entrance to explain that the song is not encoded with smiles and happiness.

It is then clear to see that the lyrics from lead singer Chris Bull are full of meaning; in fact they seem to show some reference to a past predicament that occurred to him. He tells his own narrative which does sound worthy to begin with, but he then feels hustled into repeating lyrics to the listener. Sometimes for a song, this isn’t an overall bad thing, but I think with this song, a differentiation in the lyrics instead of duplicating them could instead make the song sound more passionate and more significant.

But the tune itself is decent. I think it definitely shadows the audience into accepting what they’re trying to say – which is a good thing. And in certain segments of the song I think you can really hear of their hunger to be something – which again is a very good thing.

City Reign do seem to know that they have got something. Radio airplay from BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and comments from him saying they’re “Our new favourite band”, should essentially glamour them to future success. Unfortunately, gaining airplay does not mean it’s instant success for them. And from what I have noticed is that City Reign do endorse themselves. A lot.

Having scanned through their Facebook and Twitter, they seem to be very big on promotion. As in they like good comments about themselves (although, in contrast, who wouldn’t?) – but constantly featuring themselves like they’re a front cover of a film doesn’t justify anything. And on the A4 piece of paper that came with the CD’s, they have played the Lamacq card three times in total – which seems a bit overboard to me.

Overall though, City Reign’s music trespasses its way into my good books. I think they need a few tweaks really. They’re hard to describe, which itself creates a sound which truly makes you think.

By Chris Martin

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