I’m not big on surprises. I’ve never had a surprise party thrown for me, but I’m pretty sure I’d freak out. I don’t like when creepy crawlies surprise me by appearing in my room. However, there is one kind of surprise I really do like: when an artist surprises me, and The City Sound have done just that. With their new EP, Volume One, the Texas-based band pulled me in with just five songs. Each track has a power to it, and the band doesn’t shy away from showcasing their many talents from the get-go. “Keeping Me From Me” has a great fusion of melodics and a harder sound, all paired with PHENOMENAL vocals from Dean Barry, especially when you factor in the vocal harmonies.
On tracks like “Break The Mold” and “Almsman Circuit,” there’s an almost tangible angst, a frustration that steadily builds. “Break The Mold” leaves me feeling inspired, with the quietness of the vocals, and the wisdom of the lyrics. As the track picks up, I find myself feeling the angst that we all felt at fourteen stir inside of me. There is an artistic quality to the background of the tune, and the best is, it still feels like it links up with the first track. My nostalgia for the rock of the early 2000s, with clean vocals and edgy instrumentals, feels satisfied with the stunning work presented on this EP. However, it is really the lyrics that have me stopping in awe. “Phew,” indeed. The Madina Lake-esque “Almsman Circuit” is a bit harder in tone; a big, booming declaration in a chorus, with a transient sound, and solid bass, courtesy of Chris Reyes.
On “Live It Again,” there’s an incredible build of percussion from Chris Ellis that really pushes Dean’s vocal play. It’s an anthem, if I’ve ever heard one. This is what I picture kids screaming along to at concerts, pushing their fists into the air with adrenaline racing through them. The bridge sends shivers down my spine. When the song picks back up, it’s like getting off of a roller coaster and walking down a hill: a little disorienting. The guitar solo from Chris Ross adds a level of “festival worthy” to it, as well. However, it is “Just Like Everyone,” the finisher of the EP, that is poised to be a hit for the group. The instrumentals are incredible, there’s vocal play and distortion, and a more melodic sound with plenty of “ooh”s to make this an infectious, catchy track.
Volume One EP Is out NOW. For more on The City Sound or to purchase a CD, click HERE.