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Album review, Music, Review

ALBUM REVIEW: The City Lights

THE CITY LIGHTS – I Just Got To Believe

PETE WALSH probes the latest filthy garage-rock outing from the Sydney combo with a stick that is perhaps not long enough.

With a name like The City Lights, you may well think shoegaze or neo-new wave at their greatest, but you’d be far from the truth. I Just Got To Believe is the third outing for the Sydneysiders known for their rocking ways. After five years of silence, the gents are at it again and there isn’t a cobweb in sight.

The opening title track packs a Rolling Stones-esque backing riff and combines it with Mick Jagger-style vocals to lay down the dance-rock atmosphere. Metamorphosing into attitude-laden tunes, the album progresses towards The City Lights’ own brand of blisteringly good rock. Witty, scathing, playful and ironic lyrics abound throughout, particularly on Without People You’re Nothing and De-Evolution Revolution — which pretty much speaks for itself.

Despite modern influences, there are frequent lapses into pure rock moments that give IJGTB beauteous depth. The band seem to enjoy flitting in and out of the garage sound with the proverbial frequency of underwear changing. I’m not quite sure what it is, but there’s something reminiscently Oasis about the LP — you can call me crazy (insert a terrible Carly Rae Jepsen reference here). That said, the band’s slavery to ska-influenced basslines seems to contradict this. Just to cement the validity of their latest full-length, TCL manage to spit out a starry-eyed, slightly tongue-in-cheek homage to unrequited love lamentation under the guise of Like I Do. 

PETE WALSH is an ex-Rave contributor and vagrant writer as well as a bit of a literati, music aficionado and coffee snob.



Media & comms pro who works in mysterious ways. Writer, vinyl enthusiast, sort-of cineaste, history and geopolitics nerd and (nearly) reformed muso. Has a soft spot for hyphens and slashes. Will chew off your ear about obscure music, random facts and world football.



  1. Pingback: REVIEW: The Slow Push + The City Lights « OffStreet Press - September 26, 2012

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