Some would say it was fate. Others would say it was coincidence.
Either way thanks to a chance meeting at a Ryan Adams concert, Manchester is now home to song writing partnership Chris Bull and Mike Grice and their Indie/Rock band City Reign.
This is in truth irrelevant, the pressing matter is of course the bands upcoming EP Numbers for Street Names which is due for release on November 21st on the Car Boot Records label.
“Making Plans” is a sing that is instantly likeable and charming. It is admittedly not a hugely innovative sound but it is a catchy, pacey and accomplished song. It is definitely worth blasting out and getting into, certainly a promising start all round. The “I couldn’t get close to you” hook is a familiar enough sentiment but works here and this is a sound start.
Second track “Sleep Easy” eases in with a jangly intro and has more than a hint of The Smiths about it. The vocals and the echoing harmonies are perfectly complimentary together creating a lovely sound on the choruses, giving them an extra intensity. “How much can one life mean when you sleep so easily?” is a masterclass in rhetorical questions which don’t really say anything but sound bloody good.
“The Line” starts in the vein of something similar to U2, it has a quiet power to it.
“Your hands tied and your mind calls, do you walk on?” sets the scene for an excellent listen which strides on masterfully. This more of a slow intense affair than a quick paced pop effort but the guitar work is original and quirky enough to keep it fresh and stops it from fading into nothing. Indeed the drums give it a real oomph at points and it sounds like one that with a decent crowd could really go big live.
Next up is “Out In The Cold” which starts off with a roaring Oasis like guitar riff. It has however been described by front man Chris Bull as “The most straightforward” of the EP tracks and it certainly feels it. Although listenable it just feels a bit flat compared to its companions on the album. It’s a shame but this is forgettable.
At the end of this EP journey is “Anywhere Anyway” which is a splendid acoustic affair which spoils you with acoustical heaven. The backing vocals are haunting and lovely, adding to the defiance of “They can never run you out of town” which is one of a set of great lyrics throughout the EP.
Summing up is simple. Good tunes that deserve listening to. Treat your ears.
The EP is being streamed on their website: www.cityreign.net
For more from the band visit them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/cityreign