Single review by KevW
To reiterate what we said about City Reign when we first heard them a year ago; people often talk about Manchester's musical heritage and mention the same old names (Joy Division, New Order, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Oasis...) but it of course goes much deeper and is far more varied than that. Unfortunately its name has been tarnished in recent years due to the post-Oasis glut of horrible lad-rock bands and other bunches of swaggering oafs thinking that they just need a haircut, a big coat and an even bigger gob to become the saviours of rock 'n' roll. Manchester's vibrant dance scene has faired a little better, but the city seems unable to shrug off its past completely. City Reign are three blokes who play indie-rock music and live in Manchester. For many people the story would unfortunately end there.
This trio are unlikely to change the situation much but they shouldn't be lumped in with the rest and not given a second look. Yes this is British rock music and yes it sounds like a few other bands, but crucially it doesn't sound try-hard and it doesn't seem like an attempt to emulate anyone else and come across as overly cocksure. 'Ahead Of Ideas' has a big sound but just enough rough edges to mark it out as a unpolished gem amongst the grey backdrop of rockstar wannabes. Not only is this their best song to date, it's stuffed with enough slow-burning ferocity to actually set them apart. It will appeal to your average lager and footy Oasis fan but it should also appeal to those who don't consider The Enemy to be one of the best bands in the UK right now. This is alternative enough to crossover into different markets and accessible and powerful enough to give City Reign a fighting chance of actually leaving their own mark, however small, on the city's musical map.
City Reign's website
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