Thursday, June 14, 2007

Self Against City - Telling Secrets to Strangers


Self Against City
Telling Secrets to Strangers
Rushmore/Drive Thru
2/5

For an album whose liner notes list the only three credited members as contributing both guitars and vocals, one would expect a fair bit of variety, and hopefully a product offering a clever intermingling of the member’s talents and abilities. Sadly, Self Against City’s most recent release Telling Secrets to Strangers falls a far cry short. While being accomplished vocalists, the three members drone along together in perfect pitch, sounding virtually identical and wholly uninspiring. Lyrics are bland and seem to be constructed of patchwork written lines of genre-generic clich├ęs and effluvium such as “Don’t be something you’re not.” or “My arms wrapped tight around your neck won’t change your mind.” Yet, delivery rivals content for the weakest point on this album. All three vocalists sound as if operating in powered down sleep mode. While at times sounding reminiscent of Say Anything’s Max Bemis or Glassjaw’s Daryl Palumbo, the entire performance here lacks any of the fervor or raw emotion embodied by the aforementioned vocalists. While not a terrible collection of songs by any means, there just isn’t enough here to warrant any repeat listens. One would hope, in future efforts the group would take a little of their own advice; incidentally the only lyric on the record that holds any water, “I want my life to be more like a symphony with chords encased in scores of grace that rival symmetry.” I want that for them too.

I, Lion

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