Tooth and Nail has been serving up some memorable, new faces in the indie rock scene lately. Among these is Search the City: a quintet reigning from Detroit, Michigan. With musical influence from bands like Jimmy Eat World, this progressive rock band, as they've self-titled their sound, is finding itself among the likes of label mates The Classic Crime, The Fold, and Ivoryline. Their debut album, A Fire So Big the Heavens Can See It, brings a lot to the table and has gathered up a lot of positive buzz.
The album begins with "Son of a Gun," an ideal, catchy opener that gets the motions going for the remainder of the album. With witty lyrics such as "You know you're sharp, but sharp just doesn't cut it anymore," it definitely grabs the attention of the listener and makes sure not to let them go. "To The Moon For All I Care" follows, telling the story of a character who gets a chance to start over at life (based off of the band's favorite movie: Danny Deckchair) and includes the memorable line, "Tell me about my future, 'cause I already know my past." As described in their band biography, the track "Detroit Was Built On Secrets" refers to the rough times that are found in being a part of the rock music scene. Despite the rumors and gossip that fester, the song also takes a look at the narrator to see that, through all the brutality they're facing, they still aren't all that God wants them to be in the end. What could be a song that points fingers, ends up being quite a refreshing and surprising self-examination. Other prominent tracks found on A Fire So Big the Heavens Can See It include "Clocks and Time Pieces," "The Ambulance Chaser," and "The Rescue."
Lyrically, this debut is filled with smartly written, memorable lines that will become engraved into your mind with one simple listen. The subjects covered generally deal with mistakes and with other people's false accusations and deceitfulness. There isn't much spiritually found here at all, but the themes are respectable, relatable, and even fun.
Musically, Search the City's musicians definitely mesh very well with lead singer Josh Frost's vocals. Frost delivers an upbeat, often positive tone that is matched perfectly by guitarists Alex Sheldon and Jim Czech. Even when the song's subject matter may not be so joyful, the sound reverberating through your ears will definitely keep your spirits up.
Without a doubt, Search the City is a band to watch out for in the future. Although they do sound extremely similar to some of their labelmates, they do have their own, unique features that significantly stand out among the rest. This debut defines them well as the progressive rock band that they consider themselves to be, and they've definitely found a perfect home with Tooth and Nail Records.- Review date: 3/29/08, written by Lindsay Wiseman
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