CityLights – Friendship (EP Review)
CityLights sing bar rock. Songs to be sung by inebriated masses with choruses to be chanted as they stagger back home. Songs about love, life, friends and regrets. Bragging, drinking, snogging and shagging. They’re for people like you and me with nothing better to do on a Friday night that get pissed up in a pub, crash into a few barstools and fall down on our faces on the way home. The songs even contain the calls and hollars they would no doubt provoke when performing in a bar in East London. You can practically smell the beer stained wooden floorboards.
Who the songs are about on the other hand is undoubtedly the guys who wrote them. These is no nonsense pop tunes, no riddles or lyrical ambiguity, just straightforward, straight talking guitar music. I’d say the subject of these songs is a thinly veiled version of the lead singer but there is no veil, thin or otherwise. These songs are his experiences, they are self appraising and self depreciating at the same time, we don’t just see his confidence we get to see his vulnerabilities as well.
It’s also refreshingly free of pretention; they aren’t making any big statements with this dedication to honesty, this is just how it is. Usually when you get the vibe of someone putting themselves out there to be judged it comes tainted with the feeling that they’ve worked really hard for you to know that they don’t give a shit; which goes a long way in showing how much of a shit they really give. When you feel that CityLights don’t give a shit, you feel they genuinely don’t give a shit, their music lays out their lives on polycarbonate for all the world to listen to and that is a concept to which they have barely given two seconds of thought.
Guitars and keyboards (piano if a slower mood is required) dominate the majority of the EP. The guitar is animated, played with passion, you can visualise it being strummed by a man putting his emotion onto every stroke, utilising the purity of the acoustic guitar to express himself without the mask of electronics. The melodies are infectious, they get under your skin and ambush you hours after you put your iPod away, forcing you to play them again in your head just to let you think about something else.
CityLights are one of those Pop Guitar bands that will have teenage girls sneaking into bars after school, plastering their walls with depictions of their trendy faces and destroying their detractors over the internet. And as much as you may hate them for not being able to get their tunes out of your head, you might just secretly pre-order their next one off Amazon.