Texas is one of the biggest hotbeds of music in the entire continental United States. So many big name acts have come from the Lone Star State. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Pantera, Waylon Jennings, T. Bone Burnett, and countless other greats have all hailed from Texas. Now another young band has come along from Texas, wanting to add its name to that long list of historic bands and acts. That band is the Dallas based three-piece, This City Awaits.
This City Awaits—Phillip Ivey, Darah Hubbard, and Kyle Ross—released its sophomore full length album, Said the Liar earlier this year. The new album, released via Red Cord Records, boasts a sound similar to that of its 2011 debut, code red: URGENCY. And much like that album, this latest release is a fit for anyone that is a fan of the likes of Chevelle or Thursday. Its mix of mainstream rock and emo sensibilities treads a line so fine that given the right support, it could actually become popular with even more audiences. That is to say that the band could actually gain mainstream popularity with support from mainstream radio programmers, considering its similarities to those bands.
The album’s opener, ‘Nathan’ instantly brings thoughts of Chevelle thanks to the guitars and vocals of Kyle Ross and Phillip Ivey. If one were listening to this song without knowing it was This City Awaits, they would almost be certain it was in fact Chevelle. That’s how close the bands’ sounds are. Lyrically speaking, the song is the standard song about love lost and general relationship issues. Ivey sings as the song opens, “I write this letter/That I love you/But I regret it/I’m not sure how I feel anymore/You’re always slipping away/Into everything I hate/How could you let it get this far/I should have left you in the dark.” Ivey makes no bones about the song’s subject matter here. And the heavy guitars through the verses alongside the more swaying, emotional choruses illustrate the mix of emotions expressed through the song’s lyrics quite well. It’s just the starting point for this record, too.
The energy established in the album’s opener is carried through right into the second song, ‘This Darkness’ and barely lets up from there. Though, it does let up somewhat as the album progresses. The album’s halfway mark, ‘Dead and Gone’ is more on the emo side of things. It sounds like quite the dark sounding title. But in terms of the general content, this is actually quite the uplifting song. Ivey sings in this song about moving on from the past and letting go of those negative memories. He sings in the chorus, “Those days are dead and gone.” As with the album’s opener, the guitars here play a pivotal role in helping illustrate the song’s lyrics. They serve to make it an even more moving song that will grow with listeners with each listen. This song and ‘White Ambulance’ are the only fully noticeably emo style songs on this album. From here on out, the remainder of the album’s songs are more mainstream rock oriented save for the album’s finale, ‘Salutation.’
‘Salutation’ is as well placed as any of the other nine songs on Sad the Liar. After all of the energy exuded through the nine tracks that precede it, it’s a nice way to gently make one’s way out of the album. It is a full acoustic song with just Ivey singing and playing guitar through most of the song until drummer Darah Hubbard comes in late in the song to add even more emotion. The cymbal crashes are perfectly placed to accent Ivey’s vocals. And while it comes in at nearly five minutes in length, the song doesn’t feel nearly as long. That’s a tribute to the band. It’s a mournful song, yes. But it’s something of a beautifully tragic song that sounds something akin to a tribute to someone close to Ivey or one of his band mates; either that or another song rooted in relationship issues. Though, the prior seems to be more the case with this song. If it is indeed the case, then considering the emotional and musical journey on which listeners embark on the album’s opener, it proves to be even more fitting for a final statement from the band. It’s a final statement that once it’s made, will have listeners starting over again and sharing the record with their friends. They’ll be letting their friends know that the album is available now. It can be downloaded on iTunes via the band’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/thiscityawaits and via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Said-the-Liar/dp/B00C7AQZ00/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1375905352&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=this+city+awaits. Fans can also “Like” the band’s official Facebook page in order to keep up with all of the latest news and tour information from the band.
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