Overall Score: 5/10 Songwriting: 5/10 Musicianship: 5/10 Lyrics: 5/10 Pros: Serviceable metalcore Cons: Uninspiring | Saccharine and formulaic
Metalcore is a game of two halves. One the one side there is the majesty of the likes of Botch and Converge, on the other, the drab dullards of Asking Alexandria and bands that don’t bare thinking about. While there is some modern metalcore that can inspire great artistic movements, it is few and far between. How do nascent Londoners, THECITYISOURS fare in a landscape filled with clichés and ham fisted similes?
The sound of a match striking is the first thing that greets the listener, as if to imply an explosive journey one is about to undertake. Bare Bones is a perfectly serviceable opening track for a release of its ilk. It hits the major marks; bouncy riffing, angst ridden vocals, both clean and harsh, a big poppy chorus and a lack of imagination. So far, so metalcore. Casket follows in a similar vein, with added histrionic dreamy guitars accentuating the laborious riffs. It is once again by no means a bad song, and the natural harmonic chug that signals the bridge to the chorus is a fist clenching piece of brilliance, but the song lets itself down by descending into the same formulaic harsh verse, clean chorus pattern. The nadir of veiled attempts at commerciality comes in the form of Now That You’re Gone, a song so saccharine it deserves to be condemned to the depths of pop obscurity. Without resorting to the infantile argument of ‘hurr that’s not metal enough’, it really lacks the bite of its predecessors, despite its attempted hulking guitar phrases in the verse.
Essentially, as you can plainly tell, this album is at its worst boring to tears, and at best perfectly passable. There is nothing offensive or hateful in the contents of Low, but very little to be inspired by or even enjoy. The whole thing feels insincere and manufactured, with particular criticism aimed at the line, ‘falling apart now, I’ve never been so low’ which is delivered with such apathetic, fake emotion that it turns the stomach as well as a frown. Incidentally this line appears on the album’s best song; the title track. There is enough here to show an adept level of musicianship, and it’s more than possible that the band will improve significantly in the coming years, but on this outing there is a lot left to be desired. Keep an eye out for THECITYISOURS, but don’t believe for a second that they’ll ever be your favourite band.
THECITYISOURS new album Low is released tomorrow (2nd August 2019).