Review by Sian Eardley
Two offerings from City Reign arrived in my inbox ready for me to deconstruct and analyze in deep thought, but it didn’t take that much, as what was received were two very sweet tracks from this Manchester band, which by the time the choruses kicked in, I was hooked and fully pulled into the soul-force of the songs, fully immersing myself.
Their single “Daybreak’, was released on their own label ‘Car Boot Records’ on May 9th, and these days it seems to be the most productive way for bands to get a step on the ladder into the weird and wonderful world of a music career, and has gained them the backing of XFM and Lamacq.
Upon the first listen, they reminded me of a very early Boxer Rebellion (funny, having the same history RE: labels), with roaring and inspiring guitars filling the airwaves, and the kind of pounding drums that get right into your system, into your blood, becoming in synch to the compelling rhythm. Vocally, Roddy Woomble, Brain Molko and The Cooper Temper Clause inspirations, made prominent flourishes, which really upped their lternative/underground/indie vibe; you know, the good stuff that you can really relish and that would make for a great night out at our Sugarmill. It’s a shame there’s not more material like this about nowadays, it’s so much stronger, educated and mind-blowing than today’s mainstream garbage. City Reign are wonderful for this reason, they don’t conform. Their music is a point, a weapon…
This continued into the live rendition of their song ‘The Line’. This reignited the excitement of the early 00’s, when bands like The Strokes and Interpol were making those fantastic indie rock records, which sounded like no other before; fresh and invigorating. These are the music days I miss, but these guys are out there on the frontline waving the flag.
City Reign sound big, they sound epic, they hold purpose, they’re not just throwaway items of sound, there’s beauty in their cause (‘Trees sway, the leaves begin to blossom’). The clarity in the vocals allow you to instantly connect to what they’re trying to demonstrate and highlights their quality production, seen best in the superb instrumental in the track- all beautifully orchestrated and coming together. For saying it’s live too, they do certainly set the bar high, and hopefully they can make a trip to Stoke for a celebration of cosmic sounds.