The classic sound of The City Walls is serene, rhythmic, and smooth as a baby’s arse, and once you’ve heard their songs, if you’re over the age of thirty-five and/or are in a musical, you’ll be clicking your fingers until they’re practically arthritic.
The beats seem to correspond with a heart at rest: steady, slow, and full of life, the drums a constant and necessary presence. The lead singer, his voice pleasantly layered, possesses obvious talent. He animates the lyrics, which have relative depth, something that can’t be said for so many popular songs today (if I hear ‘bottle’ rhymed with ‘model’ one more time…).
The songs could be called ‘consistent’, but I’m going to be a little captious and call them a tad boring. The sound stays on the same level throughout with little variation in pitch, volume, and most importantly, passion. It’s a little cautious, which is a shame because the potential for those relaxing, soulful notes to become thrilling and intense is trapped in the singer’s throat. Then again, maybe that’s the intended style.
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In terms of specifics, I liked the song Homefires because the guitar work in the final breath of the song injected a touch of emotion. I feel like people neglect the instrumentalists sometimes, but in this instance the talent amongst the band is distributed equally and so the praise should do the same. I also liked Spanish Bride, but it made me think of Hawaii, not Spain – for god’s sake boys get it together. Although I suppose it did have a certain tranquil quality, slow paced and giving the listener an illusion of a world entirely at ease.
Overall, The City Walls haven’t become my new favourite band ever: I like a bit more power, something you can lose yourself in, something that makes you feel agonisingly sad or uncontrollably cheerful or murderously angry (maybe I should stop listening to Cradle of Filth…) But that’s not to say that because they aren’t my cup of tea, you shouldn’t get yourself a hobnob and dunk that sh*t. They’re good, just not the kind of music you sing into a hairbrush when you’re home alone with the passion of a thousand Whitneys. I recommend you listen to their EP, but if you’re emotionally unstable, break out the ballads until you’ve consumed a litre of ice cream and then go back to it.
Band Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-city-walls
Review by: Meg Morgan | Follow Meg on Twitter