Self Against City is a young band who has quite a history filled with both highs and lows. They were discovered by Rushmore/Drive-Thru records after uploading two demo tracks to Pure Volume. Just as they prepared to seize on this opportunity and head into the studio to record their first CD, Telling Secrets to Strangers, two of the members jumped ship.
Jonathan Michael and Jack Matranga forged on, the open slots were filled, and the album was released on January 9. Jack describes it in a recent interview as pure rock 'n' roll influenced by such greats as The Beatles, Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, and ELO, and I would add it does have distinct elements of pop, especially in some of the melodies and catchy lyrics. Describing music isn't always the easiest thing to do, but if you take the above influences and mix two from opposite side of the spectrum, say The Beatles and The Who, you're getting close to Self Against City's sound – classic rock with mainstream appeal.
They recently filmed the video for the first single, "Becoming a Monster," and it should be released the first part of February. Jack says in the above mentioned interview, "We're hoping to service it to regional networks and local networks. Hopefully you won't be able to get away from it." The song is perfect example of the refined rock roots. It speaks of becoming someone else to catch the eye of another and has a retro feel with strong edgy lyrics and music. Similarly, "Ready and Willing" has the same edgy guitar driven sound.
In rich contrast, "Yours Isn't The First" has the making of a rock power-balled. The song is about the realization a love affair is over and dealing with the knowledge of breaking another's heart and the accompaniment adds to the desperate and heart wrenching feel of the lyrics. Most of the album has a personal and emotional feel, but this track and "Tequila Moonlight" both take it even deeper to downright intimate. Strong lyrics are only half a song however, and what backs up the powerful lyrics on all the tracks is well produced, layered, and contemporary pop-punk songs with a retro pop-rock feel.
"Tequila Moonlight" falls in the same vein as the soft and silky "Yours Isn't the First." With a strong melody, and rich poetic lyrics, it's a strong track with chart-topping appeal. It's seductive and sexy with lyrics that walk a thin line between flirtatious and erotic. With those sensual lyrics is music that compliments by being flowing and gentle giving the listener an opulent love song that goes beyond the physical to the emotional.
As you listen to all the tracks on the album, you get a sense of where the title came from. Telling Secrets to Strangers is a very good indication of the personal and private theme weaved through the songs. Each one covers emotions and topics one might hear whispered between close friends but in this case they're shouted loud-n-proud to the world with some intense guitar riffs behind them.