Stef w/ an F (Vocals), Brent Lindblad (Guitars) and Cody Hoffman (Bass) make up the powerhouse modern rock band based in Minneapolis – City of the Weak. With 2 EP’s and 3 singles already under their belt, the band is set to release their brand new 10 track album, “PULLING TEETH”, which will be launched on June 22nd, 2018. City of the Weak sound totally fresh and original, because they have absorbed their musical roots, and have given birth to their own hybrid creations. Every song is like living in multiple alternate rock musical universes at the same time. Their sound is infectious, and you can hear the fists-in-the-air machinations whirring away beneath each track. Every verse and chorus is coated in sonic rock gloss with a powerful melodic heart beating at its core. The hooks are near-uniformly great, and front-woman Stef w/ an F is a magnetic lead vocalist, pushing her voice into high notes with the vocal cord equivalent of a knockout punch.
The shifting instrumental emphasis and differences in timbre and tone do a fine job in building the momentum throughout this recording. From the astounding opener, “Like I Do”, these songs are brilliantly bold and brave. The threatening tinge to the lyrics, awash in up-tempo sonic flourishes, make them especially compelling on this track.
And while Stef w/ an F showcases her most honest and perfectly polished vocal arrangements, the support of guitarist Brent Lindblad and bassist Cody Hoffman make this album City of the Weak’s catchiest release yet. You’ll be shaking and singing along to “Trust Nobody” for weeks on end.
Mixing their kick-ass rock roots, with a flowering anthemic pop sound, the band delivers a true standout track with “Glad You Could Make It”. This one was written with sold-out arenas in mind. “Not This Time” keeps the momentum going before City of the Weak throw themselves into another electrifying emotionally-charged piece, in the form of the hook-filled “Censor This”.
“Ungrateful” is up next, and though only six tracks in, the album is solidified as a cohesive piece, with each individual note packing its own stylistic punch, whether it be raw rhythmic percussion or the overarching catchy but aggressive alt-rock oeuvre the band’s music has blossomed into.
“Drag Us Under” is a monster of a track, with an epic arrangement, grinding guitar riffs and soaring choruses, reminding listeners of the strength of Stef w/ an F vocals. Guitars, synths, and drums all share the traits of percussion; together they feel like a series of incredibly intoxicating beats fluttering across “Drop The Anchor”.
The sound is crisp, every layer discernible on “Suffer Like Me”. Hoffman’s drums prop the song up at acute angles and then melts into dense fills, as much of the groundwork is laid down by the differing tones of Lindblad’s guitar.
The title track’s qualities are both percussive and melodic, as a wave of guitar sounds weave their way around the overlapping rhythms. What other bands would consider peripheral details and embellishments are central to this composition.
For most of the track, the guitar and the drums contribute detail to the song, merging like waves crashing against the jagged surface of a shoreline. City of the Weak are only a few releases deep, and this is their first full-length album, which was Produced by Craig Owens and Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered by Jordan Disorbo.
Plenty of bands have released more, and never reach these musical heights, which says a lot for their potential. “PULLING TEETH” is the perfect demonstration of the band’s progression, whilst remaining faithful to their signature musical characteristics.