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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Big City Rock - s/t

Name: Big City Rock
Album: s/t
Year: 2006
Style: Dance-Pop
Similar Bands: Franz Ferdinand, Under The Influence of Giants, U2
"One-Word" Review: Dreamy-Dance-or-Anthemic-Pop
Based Out Of: LA, Cali
Label: Atlantic, WEA International, Warner Music Group Company
Big City Rock - Cover & Back
Big City Rock - Inside, CD & Tray

Big City Rock (2006)
  1. Sink 3:23
  2. All of the Above 2:57
  3. As Soon As I Find Out 3:41
  4. I Believe In You 3:40
  5. Human 4:01
  6. Kind 3:50
  7. Better Place 3:26
  8. Shelter 3:28
  9. They Won't Mind 3:08
  10. Touch The Horizon 3:10
Album Rating (1-10):
5.0

Members & Other Bands:
Nate Bott - Guitar, Vox, Lyrics (Stinkfish, Siren Six!)
Frank Staniszweski - Lyrics, Keyboard, Vox (Stinkfish, Siren Six!)
Tim Resudek - Bass, Vox (Stinkfish)
Kayumar - Drums
Andy Barr - Guitar, Vox
Brian Malouf - Producer
Adam Schlesinger - Producer (Fountains Of Wayne)
Chris Lord-Alge - Mixed
Geoff Sanoff - Engineer
Stephen Marcussen - Master
John Rubeli - A&R
Audyard Lee Cullers - Asst. Record
Arjun Agerwala - Asst. Record
Keith Armstrong - Asst Mix
Mark Endert - Asst Prod & Engineering
Jordan Feldstein - Management
Lisa Socransky - Legal
Brian Manning - Booking
Jason Miller - Booking
Dane Venable - Product Managment
Anne Declemente - Project Admin.
Craig Roser - Project Admin.
James Minchin III - Photography
Alex Kirzhner - Art Direction
Andrew Zaeh - Art Producer
Carmey Ground - Packaging Coordinator

Unknown-ness: This was another part of the CD mail package. I've never heard of these guys. From the packaging photography, they look like a trendy emo-pop outfit. Specifically in the way they have different logos and their lyrics printed on hipster pins and their clothing style (converse & pumas & ironic t-shirts). The one saving grace I can see if that this was produced by Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne and the fantastic song “That Thing You Do.” That does not mean this album will be fun, catchy pop rock, but at least with his fingers in the musical pie, there is a chance that the record will be listenable.

Album Review: The first track, “Sink,” is a quick paced, guitars cranked out dance-pop track. Each verse has a different style of guitar backing it up: from the cranked guitars, to chugging, then to melodic, to whiny and finally to quiet guitars repeating at random. The chorus is catchy, but the breakdown toward the end loses too much pace. “All of the Above” is an 80’s inspired cymbal driven dance-pop song. The synthesizers are a great touch, but the song just feels somewhat flat. “As Soon as I Find Out” is still 80’s inspired pop with a danceable drum beat, but this pop song floats along more dreamily than rocking. “I Believe in You” slows the pace down further, making another dreamy song, this one in sentimental ballad form. I can see the U2 influence in this song (as listed on allmusic.com), the song is quite boring. “Human” starts out with the humming of the synthesizer. After the first round of melodically spoken lyrics, (think: “put the message in the box/put the box into the car/drive the car around the world”) the dance-pop beat picks up, but it is not as strong as the first two songs. “Kind” starts out with a piano similar to Van Halen’s “Right Now.” Once the drum beat picks up, it is just a pop-rock song uttering a save the world message. It is repetitive and catchy, but it feels like it is missing that one thing in production that would make it great. The first couple of notes of “Better Place” made me immediately think of INXS’s “Beautiful Girl” The song has many same characteristics in its tempo, but it lacks the emotion, honesty and depth of the INXS song. His voice sounds like Bono here. “Shelter” feels like album filler, it just follows a simple pop-rock format that has nothing particularly special, and kinda feels like a song from an American Idol contestant’s first solo album. “They Won’t Mind” begins with a siren type keyboard effect. But I had to cringe when the chorus came on. Perhaps it is alright, but it just struck the wrong chord with me, and it continues to. The pitch turns up on the work mind, and it sounds like his voice is backed up with a synthesized version of the words. “Touch the Horizon” ends the record as a U2 inspired anthem.

Stand Out Track:
Sink

Links:
BCR - allmusic
BCR - Wikipedia
BCR - Band Website
BCR - Myspace
BCR - Virb
BCR - Flickr

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