City Reign // Another Step // Car Boot Records // 25.02.13
Since forming in 2008, Manchester-based band City Reign have built their profile through a series of single releases; ‘Making Plans’, ‘Out In The Cold’, ‘Daybreak’ and ‘Ahead of Ideas’. Now, after years of fan impatience, the band has released their debut album, the aptly named Another Step, which is clearly an indication of the band’s next direction.
The album is certainly atmospheric. This is partly down to the recording location, Salford’s Sacred Trinity Church, but it’s also because of the band’s natural learning towards big melodies, which is probably why they recorded in a church as it was the only place big enough to fill their musical style.
The songs themselves take in a variety of styles. ‘Anchor’ and ‘Sleep Easy’ are heavy, yet melodic; whilst ‘The Line’ and ‘Ahead of Ideas’ are epic and uplifting. What binds these songs is a sense of structure and intricacy, even in the more anarchic ‘See What It’s Worth’; the music production is certainly top notch.
Both Chris Bull and Michael Grice on vocals and guitars make an effective partnership, especially on the single ‘Making Plans’, which has punchy and memorable guitar work by both of them. Bull possesses a harmonious voice, though whilst not particularly powerful still has the capacity to fill songs like ‘Out In The Cold’ and ‘Ahead Of Ideas’.
Another Step is an admirable debut album which showcases the best of what the band has to offer future audiences. After the first listen, you will be intrigued to see what the next step will be.