Hands up who thinks January 2021 has been the longest month ever? Need some relief to break the monotony?
The wait is over.
Friday 29th January sees the release of “Out With The Old”, the much anticipated 5 track EP from Second Cities. Having previously released three tracks from the EP as singles, which have been reviewed here at SLAP (find full reviews for these tracks by searching Second Cities), this emo inspired band have brought together those songs and 2 others to present an EP that tackles areas that have affected band members in some way or another. From mental health, grief, anger, Rebellion and different perspectives on break ups, Out With The Old wraps up these issues with energy and passion. The title of the EP is spurred on by a belief that there is a long term solution on its way for the current situation we find ourselves in, but personally, taking into consideration the topics addressed, I see it as letting go and moving on.
Opening track Like A Moth is the most recent single. I first described this song as having energetic drums and beautifully dirty guitars, and I stand by this. The high power of this track is a brilliant choice of opener and an unbelievably relevant topic to kick off the stories these boys wish to share. Lyrics that shine a light on the lies we are fed from people in positions of leadership, tearing with musical force out of the restraints put upon us to scream that we are more than just worker bees, we are human. Thrash, metal, punk spun with lyrical gold. A solid opener.
Next up is Love and War, a gritty investigation into a love/hate relationship that ultimately ends in betrayal. The exhilarating riffs scattered throughout the track, teamed with determined drum beats show the bands willingness to experiment with more rhythmic themes and the end result is nothing short of an impressive metal track delivered with the passion we’ve come to expect from them.
Third track, Oceans (Elemental Hero Bubbleman) was the bands first single back in April 2020, with an accompanying lockdown video, which showcased a life we were all starting to become familiar with. This track, despite being still so powerful, does hold a lot more mellow moments than the previous two tracks, offering up a more contemplative mood to consider the concept of going through the stages of relationship loss. A rise and fall of grief, anger and letting it all out.
Fourth track Faith is the first of the two tracks that are new to me. A song written for mental health awareness, and as an advocacy towards more systematic help and changes in the way mental health aid is delivered and created for people, this is set to be a heart breaking account of one members day to day struggles with anxiety. A five minute tribute to a hard hitting subject, the track begins with delicate anticipation, easing us into a tale of feeling out of sync and isolated. The musical elements take the strain as the chorus kicks in, with deep feelings being pulled out with every note and word, the absolute rawness of emotion on display here can be heard. Even without words,this track conveys the desperation and panic the lyrics instil, as instruments are played to their absolute max. A winding bridge section includes a heart stopping guitar solo that pulses atop the rhythm right up to the end of the track. Speaking of the track, vocalist Jamie says “Writing music, for me, is therapy, as is listening to music, that helps me feel less alone in these struggles”. A powerful and brave track to share with the world. An anthem to stand alongside anyone suffering. You are not alone.
Closing track titled Say Goodbye (for now), was a track originally written to finish gigs on. It addresses the importance of taking the chance, if you are able, to make your peace with someone before its too late. It’s a “soul crushing realisation that you will never be able to change the perception of yourself in the eyes of someone who is no longer with us” .The first 45 seconds of this track feel sombre in comparison to the rest of the EP, with a soft guitar and bass, and gentle trill on the drums, but the music is bubbling, and you can sense the pace will change. The drum beat intensifies and the vocals take on their recognisable gravel to take us by the hand into an electrifying track with the intensity of waves crashing upon the rocks. As I have come to expect, the instrumental parts of this track are on point, like, seriously impressive. Each chord pulls you further in, with heavy beats that blow your mind, cleverly thought out lyrics that don’t conform to the normal blueprint of verse and chorus. And they don’t need to. Life is random. We don’t work to a plan, but what Second Cities offer up is beautifully unorganised chaos in a creatively pleasing EP.
The 5 tracks compliment each other and offer enough emotional highs and lows to kick start your brain cells into standing up for yourself and starting over. Cheers for the musical inspiration guys The band say they represent the underdogs, and with skills like these, they can certainly hold their heads high if they hope to inspire others.
By: Kate Ford