If you’ve spent any time on the internet or near a screen at all in the last month (or four years… or lifetime), chances are you’ve felt something like a rollercoaster of emotions. Impending steamroller dread. Moments of bizarre optimism in a world that won’t tolerate it. Everything in between. In these impassioned, embattled, maybe even histrionic times, you might be having trouble finding one record to encapsulate the breadth of those feelings. Humbly I submit: City of Industry’s upcoming third full-length False Flowers is that record.
A Seattle area power trio, City of Industry is as prolific (three records in as many years plus a few EPs and singles) as it is multifaceted. Guitarist and singer Ossa Humiliata pens tunes with a firm foundation of emotional and metallic hardcore, then bends those songs into other related-but-unexpected shapes: cherubic rock akin to early Smashing Pumpkins as well as hyper-melodic squatter anthems as distressed as Dystopia. False Flowers is probably the band’s most ornamented outing, and frequently digresses into string arrangements, baleful piano accompaniment, and postapocalyptic radio distress signals.
Album standout “Broken Cisterns Hold No Water” makes for a great case study in City of Industry’s willingness to stray from the path. What begins as a bare-knuckle boxing match of a song ends in an almost Floydian sunburst of psychedelia and a blistering guitar solo.
Humiliata had this so say about the song: “When writing this song, I knew I had the opportunity to have a lot of contrast between the two dynamics of the song. A sort of simple lo-fi groove transitioning into a type of blackened doom breakdown. Then the church bells and guitar solo put its own further twist on everything.”
His partner in strings, bassist and backup vocalist Jack Thompson, has this to add: “When Ossa brought ‘Broken Cisterns Hold No Water’ to Pablo [Lara – drums and backing vocals] and I, we didn’t have a lot of faith in the song. Integrating these juxtaposing ideas in a tasteful way seemed lofty, to say the least. However, by the end of the recording process, to our surprise, it became all of our favorite song off of the record and helped us to realize that, as a band, we shouldn’t be too quick to judge unconventional ideas.”
Thompson has taste – it’s my favorite tune off the record as well — one of the many sonic ambushes that make False Flowers so fascinating, and it’s streaming below.
False Flowers is available on December 4 from Amerikan Aesthetics Records. Order it here.