Search the City - A Fire So Big the Heavens Can See It
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release Date: April 1, 2008
My first impression of Search the City was anything but favorable. Upon reaching their Myspace page I instantly wrote them off as an Anberlin clone after hearing "The Rescue." However, after at least a year and plenty of maturing on my part, I decided to give this band a second chance based on the favorable vibe that I received from just about every person I'd heard speak of them. As far as second chances go, this is quite possibly one of the most deserving I've ever given.
You can't take a single step into this album without mentioning the unbelievably superb vocals of Josh Frost. In some places they can seem very similar to those of Stephen Christian (Anberlin, folks!) and I think they're easily on par with Christian's, although Frost does seem to gravitate to a much softer timbre compared to Christian's almost patented soaring croon. Despite the similarities between the two, in most places Frost does well to stay away from that sound, and for the most part he does a great job carving out his own niche.
A step towards the instrumentation reveals much of the same. While there are a few places where I can nail down "Anberlin-esque" arrangements, I think that it's possible I only find it because I'm looking for it. In many places, the instrumentation bounces between being soft and downplayed (indie pop-esque?) and in others they incorporate some charging riffs and moodier vibes (just depending on the song itself).
There's one thing that can't be denied about this album: it's ridiculously catchy. I wouldn't hesitate throwing around the word "infectious" for a moment. You seriously just can't avoid the choruses of "Son of a Gun," "Ambulance Chaser," or "Bigger Scars Make Better Stories." "Son of a Gun" is particularly endearing, and while the lyrics may make little to no sense, it's nearly impossible to get "For heavens sake, I see right through you. I've got secrets too!" out of your head. These tracks are just so catchy, and each one of them seem to have at least one hook that latched on and drug me through the rest of it. In fact, the track that I seem the least interested in is "The Rescue" which happened to be the single, and from what I understand, one of the most liked tracks.
Despite the few places where it sounds contrived and slightly re-hashed, A Fire So Big the Heavens Can See It is an excellent album. While Frost easily steals the show, the band members play their parts, creating an album that packs a punch and is instantly accessible.
Dude, you totally summed up my feeling about this band. When I first heard the songs on their myspace at the release of their new album, I found them bland and boring... however, last summer I gave them a second chance.
And wow, am I glad I did.
I think they probably were the soundtrack to my summer - particularly Clocks and Timepieces. Aside from a slight deficiency in originality and some probable ripping off of Anberlin, I thought this was a great album. Really want to hear some new tunes too.
as much as i loved this album, it has little to no staying power in my opinion. It was great while it lasted but they arent anything like Say Anything or house of heroes or you, me and everyone we know; whose music is constantly playing on shuffle on my ipod.
Some people are way too harsh on this band. I don't think they sound THAT much like Anberlin. I actually find Search the City's songs to be much catchier than Anberlin's. I've seriously had To The Moon For All I Care stuck in my head for weeks.