Ten City Nation

At The Still Point

Written by: MT on 23/02/2010 13:31:08

When I put on the record "At the Still Point", I was immediately surprised by what was coming out of my speakers. Out came a really raw and ballsy 90's garage rock sound with the album opener "Flashing Lights". This was not what I was expecting when I sat down to listen to this promo which I thought may just have been another indie band. Having caught my interest, I took note as I heard the rest.

From the first song on, I got reminded of bands like The Vines, Nirvana, and The D4. After the guitars' feedback from first song, comes "Silent Disco", which starts off like an indie song but quickly progresses into a post-alternative experiment with the drums getting into the spotlight; showing that this band is not afraid of stepping outside the norm. The production is thick with big, distorted guitars and a prominent bass sound. The vocals have a post-punk British rawness to them which works well with the music, bringing forth their attitude.

The band shows yet another side of themselves with "Take Me Down", which is driven by southern rock and feel-good guitar riffs. The members show that they know how to play their instruments and create a good vibe which, as a musician, I like to hear. The transition between "J.L. Give It Up" and "Room 10101" is smooth and the two almost feel as one song. Unfortunately towards the middle of the latter, I get lost and wonder if it was the best choice to place two similar songs right next to each other, as it significantly slows down the pace of the album. As the album goes on, I feel a little like I've heard a lot of this stuff before.

"A Butcher in Skills" comes on and I instantly think of "All Apologies" by Nirvana as the first half of the intro bass riff sounds a lot like it and is almost the same tempo. The fact that the band based the song around this riff is a mistake and most people will probably draw the same connection. The next song "Battle Lost Battle Found" regains my hope as it starts with a progressive and ambient guitar riff, which I think is one of the things this band does best. The sound of reverb-rich guitars compliments this aspect of the band well and displays an interest in experimenting with sound. Many of the more melodic and mellow parts like "Ten Years Older" may be drawn from inspiration from fellow Brits The Cure and Joy Division.

Ten City Nations have potential and a lot of interesting moments that will put them above many other bands that are playing the same thing. But therein lays the problem: it sounds like a lot of other bands. Unfortunately there also are a few moments of uninspired, generic songs too like, despite its great title: "Snakebite Blues". If you're looking for an overall solid sounding alternative rock record played with a British touch, this is your band. But if you’re looking for something fresh and new, this album falls short of anything ground-breaking.

Download: Flashing Lights, Silent Disco, Battle Lost Battle Found
For The Fans Of: The Vines, Nirvana, The D4
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 03.08.2009
R*E*P*E*A*T Records

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