City Lights - Rock Like a Party Star
Record Label: None
Release Date: April 2, 2009
Even though the city from which they hail, Columbus, Ohio, is named after an explorer, there’s nothing particularly exploratory or experimental about City Lights. The band makes use of what is now a tried-and-tested pop-rock formula that's likely to rocket them to success. With enough hooks to keep overfishing the Atlantic, Rock Like a Party Star is sure to have people up and down the country shaking their heads either in enjoyment or in order to express their disdain at the nature of some of the lyrics.
The first song of this six-track EP is “Just In Case,” a song which, like the rest of this record, is as powerful as it is catchy, clear, and forceful. It does become immediately (and almost painfully) apparent, however, that there will be much talk of partying; for example, “bring your friends and I’ll bring mine / It’s party time when I get home.” Well, at least they’re true to their EP title.
“Let’s get it started up in here” is the operative line in much of the chorus to the next song, “Confessions of an Escape Artist,” a slightly less forceful but equally catchy song that leads into what is probably the best song on the EP, “Hang Out.” This song actually seems to go through a recanting of a frat party and meeting a really, really hot girl who “swears she’s 21 as she walks through the door / every time she arrives heads turn and jaws drop to the floor.” However, she’s one of those girls who will turn anything you say into something that it isn’t, so that’s when it becomes time to hang out with his friends just in time for one of these all-too-popular beatdowns, after which comes a short spell of auto-tuned vocals.
And now for the most interesting song to review – the pièce de resistance, if you will – “Night on the Town.” I’m going to come out and say it: it’s pretty ridiculous. Of course, what else did you expect with an opening line of “I offered her a drink / she said she’d like to have sex on the beach” and an apt summary line of “I got wasted last night / and I did things I regret / but all in all I think I did okay”? With that said, it never fails to bring a smile to my face, not only because of its sheer puerility, but also because it reminds me of the time my friend went to visit his sister at college, got drunk, then woke up in her best friend’s bed the next morning. Wonderful. If this song had been out when National Lampoon's Van Wilder came out, it would have been the sole song on the soundtrack, of that I am sure.
The penultimate track on the EP is “Make a Sound.” It's as powerfully catchy as everything before it, retaining its consistency with fairly mediocre lyrics including “remove your clothes to let me know / I’m not the only one in the picture / I’m not the only one in your picture.” I suppose what can be said about City Lights is that they’re great fun if you don’t pay attention to their largely stupid lyrics. Actually, you could enjoy it more if you shared their mentality, but if I, the purveyor of all things hideously immature find it to be inane and repetitive, those people are bound to be rare.
Thankfully, the obligatory slow closer is a bit more sober and mature, ending with a harmony perhaps inspired by their manager Brooks Betts’ band, Mayday Parade, and it ends the record well. The production on the record is solid, giving it a full sound, although the vocals do seem as though the producer has paid a little too much attention to them.
Nice review, have to say that the whole "Frat parties/ keg stand/ waking up in strange girls bed" thing was a little off... I've been to frat parties, and I can guaranty those who enjoy them will hate anything that doesn't sound like "I love college. I love drinking. I love women. And I love college." Especially not pop-rock like this...
I know that was a joke, but I had to point it out hahahaha
i think theres some pretty good songs on here. its very predictable. but thats odviously what their goin for. At times it sounds like their carbon copying four year strong and hit the lights a little too much. i can deff party to this though, puts you in a good mood. didnt really like the engineering though. he used wayy to much drum replacement.
i think there's some pretty good songs on here. real catchy.though its very predictable. but thats odviously what their goin for which is fine. At times it sounds like their carbon copying four year strong and hit the lights a little too much. i can deff party to this though, puts you in a good mood. didnt really like the engineering though. he used wayy to much drum replacement. sounds too much like a drum machine. and he sounds like a real solid drummer. so i dont know he would do that.