Single review by firstname.lastname@example.org
It feels somewhat odd that City Reign are now an established band with an album, EPs and several singles under their belt. Not because they don't deserve it, but because for some reason I continually see them as a new band. Surely this must be something of a compliment, as others who've been around for less time now appear tired and spent. What makes this even stranger is that the Manchester-based Londoners don't even have a particularly original sound: they're a fairly traditional British indie-rock band. A constant comparison is Idlewild (more on them shortly), and the general feel of their songs is that of four guys who know what music they like and want to make it themselves. The best part is that they don't pretend otherwise.
Since the first time we reviewed them in 2011, their style hasn't really changed, but the quality has. Now these tracks sound more assured, more natural, confident and free-flowing. I guess that's what you get from spending six years or so jamming and gigging together. City Reign have become a well-oiled machine. 'See What It's Worth' uses discordant guitar and a rhythm section that feels unstoppable; it's almost as though it's easy, and the track is strong, dealing with the age-old problem of not wanting to be trapped in the grey world of 9-5 jobs and all that ordinary life brings with it. B-side 'Package It Up' is perhaps even better. It would be easy for this to be an acoustic, singer-songwriter type affair - i.e. quite boring. But they make it more electric, so that it chimes and rings, and the backing touches are a nice addition. Vocally, (apologies lads) you could perhaps convince people that Roddy Woomble was on the mic. City Reign are probably sick of the Idlewild references, but the fact is that the Scots are a good band, so they have no reason to be. With the amount of material now available, we can be confident in saying that City Reign are not too shabby themselves.
City Reign's website
Buy the single
Catch them live:
Mar 21 Gullivers, Manchester, United Kingdom
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