“He said if you’re not careful this world will tear you all apart. It’ll lose your laugh, your identity for some wretched work of art. That the power created, the rest of us call it war. So tell me what this heart, tell me what this heart is for.” So goes the last track on The City Streets’ latest self-release The Jazz Age, acting as a flawless finale to an album so dead on in it’s delivery of the very being of rock and roll, it manages to pay both direct and indirect homage to the artists of days gone by who continue to tug at our heartstrings in all the right places.
Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta and now positioned in Montreal, The City Streets are a rare and unique breed, remaining unscathed from the all too often dogmatic music industry approach, managing to nurture a talent that is both raw and accessible. They have released two full length albums These Things Happen andConcentrated Living as well as 2 EP's entitled If you don’t like The Clash you’re a bad person and The Hipster Cull.
"Gaslight Anthem, eat your heart out — you don’t need to be from New Jersey to invoke the spirit of Springsteen. On their third album, The Jazz Age, Montreal-via-Edmonton trio The City Streets prove that you can do that from right here in Canada. Over the course of 13 tracks of no-frills rock ’n’ roll, singer/guitarist/lyricist Rick Reid conjures scenes of dysfunctional affairs and all-night benders, shot through with a healthy dose of references to other artists. Musically, the band keeps its radio-ready tunes just a little off balance with malleable structures and a pair of ears inclined towards noisy catharsis (“Young Runs Out” and the end of the lengthy album-closer “Slothrop’s Ghost”). What sets City Streets apart from other competent songwriters is the intensity they bring to this studio recording — especially Reid’s consistently committed vocal performances. The worst thing you could say about The City Streets is that they occasionally veer towards Kings of Leon–style populism — which probably just means that they’re gonna be huge." - EYE Weekly
"You can blame the advent of irony, generational disillusionment or simply changing tastes but heart-on-it’s-sleeve rock ‘n’ roll often seems in short supply these days. In that sense a band like The City Streets could be looked on as musical freedom fighters, offering a version of rock ‘n’ roll that shows possibilities rather than dead ends, recklessness over restraint. They’re sensitive fuck ups, these boys, and The Jazz Age catches them at their most fragile and out-of-control.” - SEE Magazine
"This group is Alberta's only hope” - CBC Radio 3
Recorded with Jesse Gander (Ghost House, Bison, DBS) and mastered by JJ Golden (The New Pornographers, Sonic Youth, Eleni Mandell), The Jazz Age (out on June 1st) is 13 tracks about about fading beauty, strange madness, romantic idealism, glory nights, inherited sadness, epic failure, and love.
“Their songs—a tight mix of the hard social message of the Clash and the twang of Wilco—are spectacular” - VUE Weekly (cover story)
“Some Clash, some early Costello, a bottle of whiskey and you've got some idea where these hearts-on-their-sleeves, punk prairie boys are coming from.” - NOW Magazine
The City Streets have toured North America extensively, visiting almost every province and state at least once with stops at SXSW, NXNE, CMW, Pop Montreal, Halifax Pop Explosion, a week long stint in NYC with shows at CBGB’s and The Knitting Factory and a show in Juarez, Mexico. Comprised of Rick Reid (lyrics, vocals, guitar), Matt Leddy (bass, backup vocals), and Mark Chmilar (drums), catch the band live on one of their stops below, buy their album, and offer them a place to crash on your floor.
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