Under Cities

Never a Lost Cause

Written by: MBC on 01/06/2014 19:59:30

Under Cities was originally named Dressed In White but changed it to their current name in 2011. Since then the band has gone through some line-up changes and released the EP “Untitled” in 2012. Their debut full length is entitled “Never a Lost Cause” and came out earlier this year on Red Cord Records. Under Cities play melodic hardcore in the vein of A Ghost Inside and Stick to Your Guns and they do it well. They are a Christian band, they take their faith seriously and are concerned with presenting music with a message. The album consists of ten songs with an average running time of about three minutes except first track “No Compromise” which is less than two minutes and really serves more as an intro to the album. The songs are effective and there is not a lot of filler material.

The album feels organic and the total length and amount of songs seems fitting. There are plenty of fast and melodic riffs, gang vocals and pummelling beatdowns on the album, but most importantly the band exudes an incredible amount of energy. Vocalist John Sheldon delivers a passionate performance of mid-range aggressiveness. He seldom strays from this approach, but much like the album as a whole, this band’s approach to songwriting is not incredibly original, and thus he fits the formula well. Throughout the album, he makes various references to Christ, although this lyrical theme is not the only one present. The band stays true to hardcore tradition as well with themes of loyalty and perseverance, for instance on “Stand Your Ground”: “I will stand my ground and fight, I won’t lose sight”.

Album closer “Amazing Grace” contains a hardcore rendition of a verse from the traditional hymn of the same name as well as a spoken word expression of gratitude to Christ. Whether or not this appeals to the listener is of course subjective, but at times the preaching does get a bit much. One thing is for sure though, the band knows how to write good hardcore songs which is what really matters. “Never a Lost Cause” is not a revolutionary record, but it is not trying to be either. Fans of melodic hardcore in general will be able to enjoy this record.

7

Download: Anthem, From Me To You, Stand Your Ground
For the fans of: The Ghost Inside, Stick to Your Guns, Venia, Hundredth
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.01.2014
Red Cord Records

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