River City Ransom – Self-titled
Reviewed by Adam Smith
Loaded with sleazy riffs and a remorseless pace, this release from River City Ransom is a tad different from most other hardcore or punk offerings.
On first listen, “This Day And Age” and “Attack! Attack” sound like palatable displays of chaotic rock and roll but, after a few listens, the charm wanes, leaving listeners with an admirable yet uninspiring effort.
There’s an Alexisonfire influence present on the E.P, though River City Ransom’s rock and roll swagger means that it is only a trivial observation.
Sonically, River City Ransom tick all the boxes. Occasional bursts of aggressive fury are tempered well with a selection of catchy riffs, which is why it’s such a shame that the vocals on “Strength From The Sun” let the album down, as the clean vocals and screams sound notably disjointed.
Often, the screams simply sound misplaced, dragging “Fear And Loathe” into mediocrity when its chorus should be a soaring triumph. The track is far from condemnable, but it would sound much better as a straight-up rock and roll track if it did not feature such ineffective screams.
However, “Lost Cause” sees both of River City Ransom’s singers combine to great effect, culminating in the best track on the release and suggesting that there could be more to come from the York outfit.