Artist: We Are The City
Label: Tooth & Nail (Re-Release)
Release Date: 3/17/15
Reviewer: Ian Zandi
- Bottom of the Lake
- Legs Give Out
- King David
- Passing of the Peace
- Friends Hurt
- I Am, Are You?
- 20 Ft. Up
- Everything Changes
- Punch My Face
Why has this review taken so long to write? Well, I am conflicted. As much as I am pushing myself to like this album, I can’t. Over the last year, Tooth & Nail Records has been putting out some of the best material including Anberlin, Hearts Like Lions, and Copeland. I was hoping that I would get another pleasing release from Canadian indie band We Are The City, but I am overall disappointed with the re-release of Violent.
With their indie-pop experimental sounds, this album was sure to be right up my alley (that alley is a dimly-lit space behind a record store in Pomona). What went wrong? Honestly, it is very difficult to pinpoint. Starting with “Bottom of the Lake”, the first grip of songs on Violent are upbeat with somewhat-depressing lyrics. It is an interesting mashup of themes that happens more in media than most people recognize. However, much of the material from We Are The City’s new album is much unlike anything else that you would find from their indie-pop counterparts. I am led to believe that it is this “uniqueness” that is both WATC’s blessing and curse. While their constant time signature changes and whimpering vocals are intriguing on the first half of the record, I lose interest in the music after track 5 (“Friends Hurt”).
Much akin to Vampire Weekend in music and meaning, songs on Violent range from confusing thought logic (“King David”), salmon pondering the meaning of existential life (“Friends Hurt”), and flying cars (20 Ft. Up). Even though majority of the songs on the tracklisting don’t contain many lyrics each, they will leave the listener scratching their heads for the purpose behind the veil of lyrics.
Overall: Although I applaud WATC and T&N for putting such an odd record out, I believe that It is simply too odd. I have given it over a month of repeated listens but I have not become accustomed to it. The singles on Violent are worth a purchase individually as well as the band’s back discography. Hopefully the band will continue to keep creating these unconventional dissonant tunes. While I did not enjoy this record as much as I anticipated, I am sure that it will please many others. There is only one way to know if you will like it. Try it.
RIYL: Vampire Weekend, fun., Alt-J, Copeland