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These past few weeks have seen much attention paid to Manchester's musical history and legacy, but this focus has been on past glories - namely a major reformation and the two new projects of a certain pair of feuding siblings. None of this has really represented the Manchester of today, indeed most of those mentioned no longer even live in the city.
City Reign formed in Manchester over a love of Ryan Adams (their name is taken from his song 'City Rain, City Streets) and have gained the support of Steve Lamacq following last year's appearance at In The City. The five songs that make up new EP 'Numbers For Street Names' are well formed tracks that sound full of confidence yet, thankfully, low on the arrogant laddish swagger that's so associated with their forerunners. In fact there's barely a hint of Gallagher lad-rock here, the closest cousin to City Reign's sound is probably the post Britpop indie-rock of Idlewild.
Single 'Making Plans' certainly has a hint of Roddy Woomble in its delivery but the overall sound of the EP is a touch more widescreen than the scratchy clatter of his band's early work. The anthemic quality of tracks such as 'The Line' may put off those who prefer their music a touch more lo-fi and much here would sound perfectly at home on bigger stages, but there's an attractive honesty to what they do which makes for an enjoyable listen. If the Stone Roses can once again open the door for British guitar bands you wouldn't bet against City Reign breaking through.
Buy the EP from City Reign's website
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