I’ve always admired and been a bit confused by bands that take years to release their new record, especially when fans are waiting on it. We should never question how long it takes to create art, but we live in a climate now where an album can be classic after one listen and old within a week—the double edged sword of digital music. I’m also a Hip-Hop fan, so unless you’re Jay-Z, Kanye or the like, after a while we don’t even want the album anymore (Here’s looking at you, Jay Electronica). There are exceptions, such as when CityCop, one of Northeast Ohio’s more prevalent emo/post-hardcore/punk acts releases their highly anticipated sophomore album after six stress-filled years of trial and error. “The Same Stories That Never Get Old” was released on Small Mammal Records (shout out Nick Muffet) last month, and the album is a spirited ride throughout those said stories.
If you’re a growing listener of the emo/post-hardcore genre like I have been over the years, you’ll know that sometimes the harsh tone of the vocals mixed with the punch of the music can deceive you into believing that you don’t need to hear the lyrics or that you can’t relate to them. Throughout the album, Eddie Gancos’ lyrics explore and reflect as he shrieks for balance around him in life: “Even when you smile my way I know you don’t love me unconditionally” (“The Golden Age Of Concern”). The eerie layered harmonies on their second single “I Took The Ride” resemble energy of a repetitive argument with someone you care for, as Eddie asks, “Can you see my eyes as they’re rolling backwards?”
Musically, “The Same Stories That Never Get Old” is the best that I’ve heard of CityCop so far. “Bad Trip” is a fun pop-punk tune for those of you that have experienced “Looking at my image in the mirror” and have become a little scared. The band is their strongest on “Homesick,” where Eddie gives his best vocal performance finding his pocket in cadence and melody, and where the band weaves in and out of a vibrant dynamic backdrop providing a feeling of renewal.
“The Same Stories That Never Get Old” doesn’t fall short anywhere except for “Soft Smile, Iron Teeth,” as its lethargic drawl took me out of the conversation a bit, but with 11 tracks, that’s nothing to discourage a listen. Whether you’re into the genre or not, I would say give these guys a listen, if for nothing other than the fact that they persevered for six years to see this album to the finish line. Fighting for what you love is a story that never gets old.