The liner notes for "American Kids," the Oklahoma City indie-pop band The City Lives' newly released full-length CD, notes that food from Arby's was used as partial payment to a recording engineer for the 11-track recording.
Featuring some of the most honest and well-written songs released by a metro rock band, "American Kids" just might have enough commercial appeal to upgrade the eager band from the five-for-$5.55 deal to Arby's pricier Market Fresh menu if they can get it into the right hands.
The opening track, "Bad Enough," is a catchy, fun dance song about love and hope, and sounds a bit like several numbers from VHS or Beta. Opening on a high note, at least emotionally so, "American Kids" cascades into more emotionally and sonically layered songs like "Missing the Point" and "Everybody Wants Something Average," which features a beautiful, somber organ underneath lead singer Chase Kerby's soaring vocal delivery, which when combined, makes for a unique indie-lounge sound that is a touch jazzy and eerie.
The City Lives seems to have resisted the urge to spend practices cranking amplifiers and writing the loudest, fastest tunes possible " which has been the method mainstay for many metro bands lately " and instead opted to craft some epic, heart-on-sleeve songs about love, family, friendship and finding one's place in the hearts and minds of others.
"American Kids" sounds like something that could catch on to more than just Oklahoma kids, so watch out and stay tuned. "Joe Wertz