Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Shop Radio's "Cities Townies" Review

The Shop’s Review of EXIT 380’s “Cities and Townies”

Hey! Meant to get into this a little faster than I have, but don’t hold that as a negative! I’ve been listening to “Cities and Townies” so much my Zune as crying out for mercy! “Cities” is the new 5 track EP from the phenomenal EXIT 380, who seems to get better with each thing they do. “Cities” is pretty straightforward in intent; it shows the maturing if EXIT 380 as a rock band (“Cities”) and moves toward experimentation in Country, and they did some fine work there as well.

“I Feel like you could take this off my hands”

Street Trash View is currently my fave; and the EP’s opener. This is a rocker showcasing life in the city from the homeless point of view. This song is just infectious, from the first fade up until the band slams it home. Bobby Shoes lays down percussion in a way that makes you want to hear what he does next, and Jimmy Bordo’s guitar progressions really moves it forward, with Blocker in classic form. These guys got my attention with their classic, “Science of Man”, and this song raises the bar driving forward then dropping into its bridge, all the while taking this empty street trash view.

“ALL I see is all for Me”

The second track, “Caught in a lie” is a bluesy number about relationships and distortion of the truth. It is unusual in that it analyzes a behavior I don’t think I’ve heard captured in a song before. We’ve all been there, someone is leveling an accusation in a situation in which we feel we are justified. In order to keep peace, we stand down, capitulate, and say “well, if I’m wrong, I guess you are right”. The band is turning in terrific work, but check Jeremy Hutch’s guitar solo.

“A come a rumbling..for us all”

We start down that country road here. I did country music in the late 70’s about the time it lost the “and Western” moniker. I really liked Johnny Cash’s take on it, which was the seminal track “I will rock and roll with you.. If I have to” (this from his Gone Girl CD if you wanna check it) and “Daddy was a Freight Train” is just a much fun. I sing this rolling down the road, and have thought about adding it to the playlist.” This song deals with a country man whose wife is screwing around, and he’s pissed. The way EXIT 380 put it together sounds like an ominous warning, with select train crossing SFX, and great musicianship once again. No pedal steel here, not yet.

“Would you run for the Gold?”

Okay now we might have western creeping in. Run for the Gold is unusual even for a country song in that it’s set in California Gold Rush days. The setup is a panhandler who’s taking that long shot gamble in his run for riches. He’s desperate, the song has good mellow overtones and harmonization.

“Pay it no Mind”

Harland's Wife wraps Cities and Townies. Lyrically, it fits the country side, musically it sounds like one of the tracks from “Life and Death of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Stone”. It’s a cheating song, older woman, younger man, and is justified by the fact Harland beat his wife, and her kids.

EXIT 380 just gets better with time. They have a track, and they are staying that track, with a little subtle experimentation. This is what drives a band up and keeps them fresh. You can snag a copy of “Cities” on iTunes.

-AnalogKidd, The Shop Internet Rock Radio

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