Angels Fight The City – Like a Dog (CD)

This is the third time that I’ve been able to review AFTC, and they are still going strong. Bringing back the experimental nature of the late seventies with a timeless meshing of styles, this band is simultaneously a completist’s favorite and possible rock stars. “Like a Dog” is benefited by the sizzling guitar solos and shuffling drum beat that makes this track as equally possible as a disco track as rock. Look at early Talking Heats and Patti Smith for a better idea of what AFTC sound like. An eerie Iggy Pop imitation begins “The One I Wanted First”, even down to the Spartan guitar that provides the backdrop for the track. The wall of sound that finally kicks in, mastered perfectly, and continues changing and modifying the general sound to ensure that no one will be bored by the music on the disc. The tracks are well beyond any normal radio length, but the arrangements on this EP are so mature that listeners will be kept in awe for 5 or 6 minutes.

“Dead Flowers Blues” is a song constructed in the musical style indicated by the title, and show yet another facet of the band. AFTC feel as comfortable in this different style, and it is this Protean nature that draws me each and every time to the band. Continually shifting through genres, tempos, and arrangements, AFTC still manage to shock me with “The Plot”. Much more sedate than anything I’ve ever heard from them, “The Plot” is still buzzing with electricity, even if it does sound like a lullaby. After a few years of this, AFTC are finally getting the praise they deserve – as their press release proudly states, they were given the highest honor – critical praise by Rolling Stone.

It becomes hard to categorize AFTC as anything but themselves. They struggle and shift an amazing amount of times just on a four track EP, and with each subsequent release, the entire sound gets cleaned up, the arrangements more immaculate, and my love for the band increases. Just wait until a proper LP can be rolled out, as both England and United States will be aflame with individuals extolling it. AFTC, by looking back, create a contemporary style of music that everyone can love.

Top Track: The One I Wanted First

Rating: 7.7/10

Angels Fight The City – Like a Dog / 2004 Self / 4 Tracks / / / Reviewed 21 January 2005

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