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As Cities Burn - Hell or High Water

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Cody Bonnette – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keys

Colin Kimble – bass, guitars, backup vocals

Aaron Lunsford – drums, percussion

Chris Lott – lead Guitar


             As Cities Burn (ACB) is a cChristian indie rock band from Mandeville, Louisiana. They formed back in 2002. ACB released their first full length album, Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest on June 21, 2005. On June 10, 2006, the band announced the end of As Cities Burn, but in early July, after an outpouring of support from fans, they decided to remain together and on August 14th, 2007 they released Come Now Sleep. With the switch of lead vocals As Cities Burn performs the majority of that album. As of April 16, 2008, As Cities Burn posted in a bulletin on Myspace that they will be at home and writing for the new album. The outcome to that was Hell or High Water which hit stores in April of ’09. It begins with ’84 Sheepdog” which is a really strange track. Musically there is a lot going during the track which some of it sounds good, but other parts sound really bad. The vocals and the lyrics are really distracting. Both hamper what little is good about this opening track. “Errand Rum” has a couple of sweet guitar riffs that show that they defiantly have the potential of creating something great. The vocals are a lot better than the opening as you can actually stand to listen to them. The lyrics are also better as they make sense this time and have some sort of meaning other than repeating the same damn thing over and over. As the album continues As Cities Burn really start to put it together. “Into the Sea” is proof of that as it is a whole track with everything flowing well and making sense for the most part. The track floats along pretty well except for a couple guitar notes that are a bit strange. There are a few squeaky notes as well during the vocal sections. “Made Too Pretty” really start to do some work. The creativeness of the guys finally starts to come together with the sound. After the opening tracks I was getting a little discouraged about how this album was going to end up, but tracks 3 and 4 start to find the zone. They are followed-up by “Lady Blue” the longest offering on the album. The track takes awhile to get going, building towards the meat of the track. Around the minute and a half mark they add in a second vocal set and then transitions this into some rather strange, yet enjoyable. It’s almost like a gang of people in chains walking down a long hallway. They then transaction back with an explosion of sound and vocals, that is sure to get anyone into the groove. “Petty” cruises along at a good pace keeping the tempo up throughout the track and never hitting a low spot. “Daughter” is a super soft and slow track that is warm-hearted and passionate. “Pirate Blues” is driven by the music the guys have created to distribute their message. It’s a bright track like you are sitting out in the Texas sun, sunbathing and relaxing. The lyrics are well written and wonderfully delivered. The ending is a bit weird though, I’d have to say. “Capo” is a funky track that reminds me a bit of Family Force 5. It really doesn’t fit with the rest of the tracks as it’s a bit too cheery and fresh. Other than that it is really catchy and really gets you into the track almost immediately. Overall this album is okay. With the way it began I thought it was going to be dreadful and hard to listen too. The creativity of As Cities Burn is at the top of the class. They keep trying new ways to deliver their message and its working for the most part. The music really gets your head swaying and your toes tapping. The vocals are a bit rough and hurt your ears in spots, but in other places they are well suited and flow pretty well. I’d go about listening to the album in this fashion, skip the first two tracks and play them last.



Rating: 7 out of 10

My favorite tracks:

Into the Sea, Made Too Pretty, Lady Blue


Track List:

  1. ’84 Sheepdog
  2. Errand Rum
  3. Into the Sea
  4. Made Too Pretty
  5. Lady Blue
  6. Petty
  7. Daughter
  8. Pirate Blues
  9. Capo

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