City Lights

In It To Win It

Written by: TL on 24/01/2012 14:47:22

So do you guys like pop-punk? Yes? Then the odds are pretty good that you'll like "In It To Win It", the debut LP by Columbus, Ohio-based newcomers City Lights, who've been together for about four years, and are now trying to get their name out there for real. The odds are good because on this records, these guys have basically brought all the elements from the New Found Glory school of pop-punk to bear, to create a solid batch of songs, that should easily appeal to anyone who likes either NFG, Me Vs Hero, The Wonder Years etc. etc.

You've got your bright, simplistic pop-punk melodies, your pop-hardcore breakdowns, your sharp-voiced singer and your youthful lyricism about wooing some potential girlfriend, calling out some ex-girlfriend or disregarding girlfriends all together because you'd really rather hang with your bros, who - by the way - are better bros than anybody else's bros. It isn't particularly deep or original, but it's delivered with enthusiasm, a good understanding for the workings of the genre, and a healthy serving of decent hooks. "Lawnmower" for instance, is easily the album's highlight, being super catchy in both its normal and acoustic form (the latter closes the album, sort of like a bonus track I'm guessing), and numbers like "Where You've Been", "My Entire Life" and "Trophy Room" are fairly sticky as well.

City Lights' problem as a band is similar to the one I perceive with their highly similar British colleagues in Me Vs Hero. You can't deny their love and proficiency with the genre, nor their penchant for writing decent hooks, but still, neither seem to have the depth of personality to really give you the same jittery urge to bounce up and down, as does their better contemporaries in bands like The Wonder Years or Man Overboard. All these bands play almost the same style of music, but with the likes of Me Vs Hero and City Lights, you can, in a critical moment, get the feeling that it's just a bit too generic or heard before, while bands like The Wonder Years or Man Overboard will rarely give you that, because you're too busy being all caught up in their stuff. It might be a rather intangible reason, but for me, it's enough to signify a noteworthy schism in quality. That being said though, if you're just a sucker for the genre, this is still more of the stuff you love, so unless you're too busy listening to something better at the moment, this will still guarantee you quite a few enjoyable spins.

Download: My Entire Life, Lawnmower, Where You've Been
For The Fans Of: New Found Glory, Me Vs Hero, The Wonder Years, Man Overboard

Release Date 09.11.2011
In Vogue Records

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