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American Diary - EP

The City On Film

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Album Review

Bob Nanna's first album as the City on Film, 2004's I'd Rather Be Wine Drunk, was an interesting but somewhat half-baked experiment in spontaneous songwriting, supposedly written, recorded, and mixed in a single afternoon. Rather than try to replicate that album's hotel-room intimacy, the former Braid and Hey Mercedes frontman wisely chose to find himself a band. Even better, the band he found features most of Seattle indie rockers Minus the Bear, whose propulsive guitar-driven attack gives Nanna a much-needed kick in the pants. The album is bookended by two versions of "Mary, I'm Ready," a solo mope that sounds like a leftover from the debut. In between, the four songs with Minus the Bear are instantly memorable, hook-filled pop songs that are far superior not only to I'd Rather Be Wine Drunk, but also to any of Nanna's previous efforts. The shuffling "Astray! Astray!" sounds vaguely like the Decemberists covering a tune from the Cure's The Head on the Door, and the hushed "Well, It Goes Like This," with its oddly-mixed guitars and murmured, echoing title hook, skirts Modest Mouse territory, but "Pony's Last Trick" and "You're Gonna Need That Patience Soon" sound like the brilliant pop songs Hey Mercedes were shooting for but never quite captured. The record's only real flaw is its frustratingly short length.

Customer Reviews

rob nanna is the man!

i like anything he does!

Another hit by nana

Although the albums original review isn't too bad, it does not convey the unique essence of the music with the band garners throughout the album. I highly recommend The City on Film, Braid, and the best band Nana has been apart of, Hey Mercedes. The pop rock they produce is top notch and one wonders how they did not bust it big.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Bob Nanna has earned a considerable reputation as a founding member of two noted and influential bands, emo pioneers Braid and the more pop-oriented Hey Mercedes, but the City on Film marked Nanna's first effort to strike out on his own. Nanna began recording solo material in 1997 during downtime while Braid were on the road, but it wasn't until the latter days of Hey Mercedes that he began writing and recording music with an eye toward creating a separate musical identity for the music. While hardly...
Full Bio
American Diary - EP, The City On Film
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