Monday, September 15, 2008

Reviews:: Crosstown Rivals EP

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With both the NFL and college football seasons in full swing, it seems talking about Crosstown Rivals is fairly topical, especially when you think about how the excitement and anticipation of the "big game" are matched by the sound the quartet delivers. On first listen, you'd assume Crosstown Rivals dwell in Brooklyn or on the other side of the pond. Their big anthems filled shimmering guitarwork echo life in grandiose cities, rich in heritage, history, and celebrity.

Instead, the band calls Winnipeg home and I have to say there aren't too many small town bands that can play deliver like these guys do. Their songs are taut, driven forward by rapid fire drums, scintillating synths, crunching double guitars, sing/shout backing choruses and Cody Sellar's voice.and with the new addition of a new guitarist, a new sound, and a new EP they are primed to get some National attention.

On the scorching opener – A Bright Idea - Cody's gruff vocals and frantic drums should power indie kids out onto the dance floor (which, if you’ve seen indie kids dance, may not be a good thing). The second guitar adds a bit of darkness to the effort, and the four-piece fills the mix full of meandering notes, energy and distorted textures. Hold Tight surges until you think you might break, but it's the chorus and hand claps grab hold to your brain.

I'd hesitate to call their sound new – on the surface, the elements they use are the same as ones you've heard before from lots of bands – but there is something that makes the songs stand out. Maybe it's Cody assuredness; the quiet confidence he exudes without falling victim to the arrogance that plagues front man these days. Maybe it's that the band is becoming a melding of different styles (the second guitarist, Louis, also plays in two bands with completely contrasting styles [The Paperbacks and Boats]) and his guitar work helps the songs tremendously. Both of these play a role, but after a few listens to Waste of Time, it becomes obvious that that these four Peggers just understand how to write a good song.

Posted at 8:29 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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