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Ten City Nation At the Still Point Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Exciting and brave enough to crank out an album of bruising, energetic noise.

Lou Thomas 2009

Second time around Bury St Edmunds punkers Ten City Nation have made an visceral scouring pad of an album. The Suffolk band were influenced by the Queens of The Stone Age and The Stooges in their first incarnation as the briefly feted Miss Black America but At The Still Point is noticeably more hardcore.

Brutal, often minimalist riffs recall the toughest moments of US pioneers like Fugazi and Pavement, while lyrically this angry trio veer between optimism, nihilism and despair.

Take Me Down sees guitarist and singer Seymour Patrick croon like Ash's Tim Wheeler, albeit using a despondent Smashing Pumpkins-style lyric. He has, ''nothing left to lose,'' and would ''do anything for you''. It's a rare plaintive moment amid the fury.

A Butcher In Silks spotlights a key influence. Mike Smith's verse bass motif is almost identical to Nirvana's All Apologies melody. Silent Disco meanwhile makes like Cobain and Co pre-Nevermind, fast, violent, angst and utterly compelling.

Room 10101 is the most menacing track on At The Still Point. It's key refrain of, ''Hey now, I think you've got something to say now, sounds like nothing less than a dare for fellow bands to try producing more scuzzily brilliant thrills. Pixies fans and drinkers who take their spirits straight are bound to approve.

Unfortunately Ten City Nation can't make Snakebite Blues as raw and evocative as its title, preferring to go through the motions on a sub-Blur dribble only fit to soundtrack an especially dire episode of Hollyoaks. Aside from this, the title track drags the album down. After an album of pummelling attack-rock, there's no need for whimpering.

In 2009 it's not fashionable to be a UK band trying to sound like serious Americans, but Ten City Nation are exciting and brave enough to crank out an album of bruising, energetic noise. Over a decade after Idlewild broke through, it appears they've finally got some serious competition.

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