Thursday, 19 August 2010

(Single Review) City Reign: Making Plans

(Car Boot Records, 2010)

Making Plans is the debut single by soon-to-be-signed foursome, City Reign. The songwriters, Chris Bull and immaculate guitarist Michael Grice, have promulgated a successful pre-sale campaign on Facebook and MySpace that has already seen over 100 copies shifted on Ebay. The official release date for Making Plans on iTunes is September 27.

Vocalist and lyricist Bull was educated in the same classrooms as Marcus Mumford and Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, as well as Matt Owens of Noah and the Whale, in Wimbledon, also the hometown of songstress Laura Marling. City Reign do not belong to the new folk scene and, forming in Manchester, their sound is firmer or rougher: the skeleton of the songs is milked by the artist's name. Where better to start your confession of influence and ambition? Making Plans doesn't stop in the northwest. Sometimes gutteral, sometimes nasal, the vocals power-slide from a grown-up Liam Gallagher to early Green Day. It's the sort of song in which disturbing loneliness becomes consoling music: "As the rain drips from the mirror... There's noone else near... These thoughts... Why do they come and where do they go?" while a unity of unpanicking musicians makes for an infectious chrous.

Making Plans is fun, impressive, serious. This project prefers isolation, augmenting melodies and a compatible guitar solo. Since the suppression of the Brit Pop genre, the radio has been crackling out for some of its angry young men to properly articulate themselves. There is an old abbreviation I will never forget: K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. Lottery artists wallowing in empty metaphors, in love with the banality of indie life, should pay heed. Our music - at its most honest and at its newest - comes out simple, catchy and repeatable. City Reign will find their work on such playlists.

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