We Are The City
A short-but-diverse blast of progressive pop, We Are The City's High School takes six songs and spawns a mini-concept album about the time spent in eponymous educational institution. It feels epic, but innocent, rooted in the big feelings of the moment rather than looking back with more tempered hindsight. Opener "Get Happy" feels like a laboured trudge, drums starting at a near march, then dropping back to let a more subtle, repetitive piano carry the weight of vocalist Cayne McKenzie's suspicions, eventually collapsing in a rush of keyboards and drums. Unlike that, "Happy New Year" actually shares its eponymous sentiment, with a mischievous guitar line and lyrics like: "No, I'm not waiting here for anyone / Especially not Jessica" that builds into a joyous rallying chorus. Darker tones permeate the rest of the EP with the anxieties of those formative years in high school hallways, a mix of quiet calms and blasts of aggressive noise. What High School does well is capture a time and a place and a psychology textbook's worth of messy adolescent feelings within the confines of nimble pop.
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