As Cities Burn, a progressive indie rock band from Louisiana, has decided to call it quits after three solid albums under Solid State Records, and they ended with a “bang” with Hell or High Water.
As Cities Burn has always been known for honest, down-to-earth lyrics. In the song Made Too Pretty, lead singer and lyricist Cody Bonnette sings, “I think we were made too pretty. We’re caught up in a stare we cannot break. We know nothing changes too slowly. Someday we might calm down, but who’s to really say?” Though Hell or High Water is a matured sound for As Cities Burn, the lead guitar licks are drenched with that familiar experimental feel. The drumbeats throughout the album are very intricate and they are perfect for every song.
Songs like Into the Sea, ’84 Sheepdog and Pirate Blues are great sing-alongs, but the standout is the rare Gates. This song can only be acquired through the purchase of the album on iTunes. Gates practices beautiful dynamics, going from quiet and calm to driving and grungy by the end. Bonnette and his brother TJ, the old screamer for As Cities Burn, shout “We will wear compassion. We will wear it. And the gates of Hell won’t stand against it.” Chills will cover your spine at the delivery of this line.
Emotion and passion pour out of As Cities Burn, and if you are a fan of music with these characteristics, go buy this album!