Album Review: City and Colour – The Hurry and the Harm

By on Wednesday, 12th June 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

City and Colour Hurry and the Harm coverCity and Colour is Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green, formerly with the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire. Green’s side project started out in Alexisonfire’s heyday in 2004, but he eventually left the band to focus on his work with City and Colour and refine his more melodic folk leanings. Fourth album ‘The Hurry and the Harm’ is a lovely piece, both gentle and exploratory. I am repeatedly struck by how often I am drawn to musicians who have turned their hardcore sensibilities into gorgeous acoustic guitar driven music.

Truth be known, I didn’t even know the genre folk punk existed until a few years ago. Green’s music is a step lighter than the likes of Frank Turner and Rocky Votolato in that respect, more folky and less aggressive than the other two. But with a full band behind him, Green has developed his sound from the quiet acoustic bit that drew him into solo work into full arrangements that offer him an opportunity to showcase more musical style than just the simple voice and guitar of his previous releases. Much more expansive than previous albums from Green, ‘The Hurry and the Harm’ has great drums, guitars and strings sprinkled throughout. Not afraid to experiment with the soundscape, Green still keeps the focus on his strong suit, words and melody.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMWoimU2wUQ[/youtube]

Full of introspection and insight, the album addresses the very internal struggle of yearning and the quest for meaning. The title track itself is a treatise to the hurry-up society we live in today and how it does nothing to fulfill our deeper needs. Lead single ‘Thirst’ (lyric video above) is the most distinctively different with full drums and distortion filling it out to a full on rock song. ‘Two Coins’ is another heavy with bass that resonates both sonically and lyrically, its stark loneliness matches the rumble of the bass. The tune sets out to contemplate the redemptive quality of trying to find your way: “I’ve always been dark / with light somewhere in the distance / I’ve been so unforgiving / stranded in old traditions”. But there is still plenty that is vintage City and Colour to enjoy. ‘Of Space and Time’ rings clear with just the gentlest of augmentation to round out Green’s dulcet tones. While the searching quality of the lyrics suggests it is just another melancholy lament, it actually hints at reaching the end of the journey and being satisfied.

Perfect for a laid back Saturday afternoon in the garden, ‘The Hurry and the Harm’ could easily soundtrack a lazy summer, cool drink in hand swinging in a hammock. City and Colour will be touring much of Europe in June and will hit the UK for Reading and Leeds in August.

7.5/10

‘The Hurry and the Harm’, the latest album from City and Colour, is out now through Dine Alone Records/Cooking Vinyl Records.

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[…] brand new promo for ‘Harder Than Stone’, the second single taken from his current album ‘The Hurry and the Harm’. Black and white and often times giving you the feeling like you’re flying, it’s […]

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