Demo Review: Ten City Nation

From the press release: “…TCN are bringing back what has been sorely missed; music that’s all encompassing, weighted and urgent, a single fingered salute to all those who have tried to bury rock and roll.” Really, it says that. Really.

There was a discussion at iShotTheDeputy as to whether we could just leave the review at that but it was decided leave the snide one-liners to Pitchfork. The press release contains three paragraphs of the kind of rubbish even a sixteen year old would cringe when reading and there are so many choice quotes that made this reviewer laugh it’s not worth trying to transcribe them all. Unfortunately guitarist/singer Seymour doesn’t have the excuse of being sixteen for having written this: he and his bandmates were the original line up for Peel favourites “Miss Black America” and he plays as ‘Open Mouth’, who has received a few less-than-glowing reviews on this site. Is it too much to ask that some of the clichés have been knocked out of them and replaced with cynicism? Seymour likes to get political so he probably hates Tony Blair but this reads like something from his press office.

Luckily the music is of a higher quality, though hardly earth shattering. “Exhibition Time Again” sounds like something that could have come off Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s first album. The lyrics seem to be something about a relationship, the bass and guitar chug along nicely. So far, so okay. “The Air is on Fire” continues the BRMC theme with a touch of early Verve in full on delayed guitar brooding and then a big meaty rock chorus, but like the track before the lyrics seem vague and unimportant. Its biggest failing is lasting six minutes, much of which seem to be given over to boring guitar solos. “Everyone’s a Tourist” shows more promise than the other two though the vocals are stronger here so you notice the American affectation to the singing style. The song seems to be about racism and narrowminded views but it’s difficult to tell because Seymour opts to sing this like he’s got a muffin stuck at the back of his throat.

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