City 13 - Better Late Than Never Again

City 13 are a band from Wolverhampton who previously played under the awful name Pharaoh. The band have already gained my respect for dropping that hideous moniker and self producing, self financing and self releasing 'Better Late Than Never Again.'

Then the fear hits me. A fear fuelled by a quick look at the influences cited on the City 13 Myspace profile. All the talk of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and blazing guitar work made me more than a little anxious about putting the proverbial needle on the record. I was pleasantly surprised when I did muster the courage to listen as the fret wankery was virtually non-existent. There was that thing though that young bands seem to do - sub Iron Maiden riffs mixed with self proclaimed punk rock attitude. Gets me scratching my mullet every time, that one. Aural oil and water.

That Funeral For A Friend style of blending hard rock and heavy emotion works for some, yet not necessarily for me. City 13 deal in this kind of dynamic and, honestly, it is all a little too familiar and predictable to make a real dent. Inexperience rears its ugly head in the form of some uninspired lyrics and variant time zone drumming. Hints of salvation offer hope for the future in the record's better tunes 'Puppet Strings' and 'Worst Mistake'.

Being perfectly honest, this is not Glitzine fare. I hate those reviewers who slag off a band just because they are not fans of their particular genre. I refuse to come down hard on a band simply because I do not listen to, or maybe understand, their kind of sound. Inexperience is at fault again with the guys sending review discs to places where they aren't really going to get a glowing review. Quantity of reviews are unimportant - quality counts and, while this review reads like the cupping of an angel's breast as I am a literary genius, it ain't the kinda thing that the band are gonna want to read.

City 13 have the bare bones of a decent band about them, but they need something above and beyond the ordinary to get them really noticed. This CD is not something that I would buy but, if you saw some of the shit that I own, that may not be the best endorsement.

by Gaz E.

Visit the City 13 Website