This Twilight City

Just Breathe EP

Written by: TL on 30/03/2010 14:40:11

To continue clawing my way up through a seemingly topless pile of releases, on my way towards daylight, here's a fast review for you. The band in question is This Twilight City, a young quartet from Greenville, South Carolina who on their EP "Just Breathe" play a style their Myspace page calls pop/rock/crunk and I call emo/poppunk. Click below and listen while you read to see what you call it maybe?

Right out of the gates, TTC establish that they are not a one trick pony, by showing us around in their capabilities with the first three songs. "July Was Cold This Year" is a shameless, bright, up-beat and chorus driven pop-rocker of the radio-friendly kind, and indeed it is quite catchy. The last quality however, is also shared with the following "Burn Alive" which immediately takes a more threatening and urgent approach, bringing more emo bands such as Just Surrender to mind, and also by "I Miss You Like Summer", whose acoustic verse/anthemic chorus combo recalls other names such as Dashboard Confessional, Boys Like Girls and Cute Is What We Aim For.

That's only three out of a whopping eight songs, packed into a mere thirty minute EP. And while the catchiness goes elsewhere for a stroll during the rather forgettable acoustic "Please Don't Say Goodnight", it comes back in the chorus of "In Pieces", another bouncy pop-rock anthem in the veins of our very own A Road To Damascus. Staying with that comparison, "Where We Are Now" explores the darker territory even more, leaning into the shades of Matchbook Romance and Anias, backing screams suddenly included. Though I'm liking that side of TTC however, the catchiness has wandered of again, leaving the song with less memorability than the others. "Dead Star (The Acoustic Song)" brings it back once again though, with a casual little chorus for your mind to cling to, and it sticks around for a proper anthemic finish in the form of "The Morning After".

Now, I like the following about "Just Breathe EP": I like that it has eight songs rather than three, and I like that those are quite different, showcasing a range to the band. I also like that the songs jump through very traditional pop-rock hoops, bringing fair amounts of catchiness to the table, while not sounding at all dumbed down in the process. However, there are of course also things that dampen my liking. The production for instance, is only just passable, and while you can clearly hear everything, that's also all, and it doesn't do anything in terms of polishing or boosting the feel of the EP. The clean vocals are a slight bit too much on the whiny side, which probably won't annoy you much if you're a fan of the bands I've already mentioned, but with age and a wider frame of reference (yeah, I'm like sooo old) comes a feeling that the flat and strained voice isn't the best one a singer can aim for, and it starts to get annoying in larger dozes. Then there's the question of originality, which there isn't all too much of here, however, this could of course also be the fault of TTC's audible inexperience, and one could hope that the years would bolster them in that department. On the other hand, one could also fear that some label could pick them up and convince them to drop the edge of their expression, forcing them to become another money making travesty like Boys Like Girls. Whatever the case, this is a pretty cool EP, being a pleasant and joyful listen, yet not exactly awe-inspiring.

Download: July Was Cold This Year, Burn Alive, The Morning After
For The Fans Of: A Road To Damascus, Just Surrender, Sound The Alarm

Release Date November 2009

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