Ten City Nation - Demo

Bill Cummings 03/10/2007

Rating: 3/5

Ex-Miss Black America front man Seymour Glass, now based in Lewisham, has been prolific recently. A bit like busses, you wait a few years for a record from him and you get three within the space of two years! First a third (and final?) MBA album, then his own acoustic solo project Open Mouth, now his new collective is known as Ten City Nation. Leaving behind much of the political and personal baggage of his previous outfits, Glass has struck out with fellow musicians Mick Smith (bass/vocals) and Neil Baldwin (drums/vocals). Together they make a more straightforwardly brutal style of punk, with melodic edges that rarely collapse over into artifice. This is their first demo, a collection of three different songs that perhaps mark the way forward for the new outfit.

“Exhibition Time Again” rattles along neatly enough; all cried out Stooges style vocals, energetic jagged riffs, and a taught QOTSA style bass and drum section that thunders like bison's hoofs across abandoned deserts. “The Air is On Fire” is clearly the best of the three tracks here (more of this please!), its opening weaving Nick McCabe (Verve) atmospheric guitar patterns hove into view above night skies, before being interjected by urgent, stabbing, early Nirvana-esque guitars, drum rolls and Seymour's frantically emotional vocals. Only the last track “Everyone's a Tourist” bares any genuine resemblance to the work of Miss Black America, it's a “Terminal” era, tear stained, heart on his sleeve slice of whirring, dark city rock, but it lacks the standout elements of the second effort, and thus it almost feels a bit disappointing: like the final track here is a slight backtrack onto overly familiar ground. One step forward and one step back then. On the whole a promising beginning for Ten City Nation, an act that's clearly looking to push into vital punk rock terrains.