New York City Smoke - Musique Noir
Hailing from NYC's Lower East side, New York City Smoke are an indie rock band on the up and up. They've shared the stage with such iconic acts as Interpol, Jet, Franz Ferdinand and They Might Be Giants. Their most recent claim to sure fame is having some of their music featured on a couple of MTV series. Their newest effort, Musique Noir, is supposedly the next step in future sound, according to the accompanying press release. What I'm hearing is well-played and written pop-rock, nowhere near original or awe-inspiring but solid and sophisticated nonetheless.
A nifty little instrumental intro sets the tone, and "Stay" lays it down in the cement of NYC's sprawl. Indeed the entire album is oozing with a big-city atmosphere of gutters and skyscrapers, winners and losers. Much like the songs, some hit the mark while others fall a little flat, sounding more like Killers B-Sides. Still, tracks like "You Wear Your Sin" (a rather dark inclusion on these otherwise chipper rockers) and "Man on Fire" will have your toes tapping away.
On the whole, Musique Noir is a wonderful portrait of big city life and it benefits greatly from the honed skills of every member of New York City Smoke, who's greatest talent is weaving familiar, catchy rock with clever lyrics and a smoky atmosphere. The only problem is that we've been hearing this sort of thing alot in the past 5 or 10 years and it really only applies to those who are still in with the inner-city indie scenes. That being said, you should know whether or not Musique Noir is for you. Above average album.
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