Review Summary: The best EP of the year comes out just as we all finish our lists.
It's amazing how much one little email can do as part of one's music discovery. Earlier this year I had no idea who CityCop even were, let alone that they would end up being some of the nicest dudes I have run across in my time dealing with music criticism. Their debut album The Hope in Forgiving and Giving Up Hope
was one of 2011's biggest surprises. Coming from Ashtabula, Ohio these upstarts managed to create something so enchantingly different in the screamo genre, yet still filled with all the reminiscent hooks that got me into the style in the first place. So here we are at the end of the same year and CityCop are closing it out in the same way in which they ushered it in, by outdoing themselves. Their newest EP Seasons
is monumental. As someone who tries to be a musician, all I can say is it's not even fair what CityCop have pulled off – releasing not only one of the better full lengths of the year but only months later to follow it up with what might just be the EP of the year.
transcends its screamo-wave influence and punches hard, despite not having a single distorted riff or rush of feedback. Just like their debut, Seasons
is a stunning mix of acoustic cleans and honest screams. While the introductory track, a fittingly hoarse rendition of Charles Bukowski's classic poem “Bluebird”, might bring up thoughts of La Dispute, the following four tracks, each one named after its related season, transcend their collective influences to create a technically impressive and wholly original sonic experience. Guitarist Max Adam's melodies are absolutely enchanting, eschewing punk tradition and pulling from everything from classical to calypso jazz. It doesn't hurt that the rhythm section follows his lead with the utmost care and precision. Vocalist Eddie Gancos' impassioned wails tie everything back into to their genre framework, doing his part to provide the emotional catharsis one expects for the sound. It all melds together so beautifully. From the bouncy leads of “Spring” through the dread and gloom of “Winter”, CityCop have not only released something that they should be proud of, but something that has the power to propel them to the top of the scene from which they've spawned.