Scary Kids Scaring Kids - The City Sleeps In Flames (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Scary Kids Scaring Kids

The City Sleeps In Flames (2005)


It's sort of ironic that Phoenix, AZ's Scary Kids Scaring Kids were embracing DIY ethics so early on. The band crowned their name from a caP'n Jazz song, and posted a full six-song EP for download on their site once it was available. Then suddenly, the band found themselves recording demos for Interscope Records, and later on, now releasing an overproduced mess of clichés for former Epic imprint Immortal in The City Sleeps In Flames.

The EP in question, 2003's After Dark (reissued the next year by Hour Zero), was full of promise; sure, it found the band dwelling in the slowly molding new wave of trivial post-hardcore, but the band were bringing a Thursday influence to interesting grounds, with a scathing intensity at times, well-placed keyboards and an overall eerie vibe unlike that of their peers. Instead of capitalizing on these things, The City Sleeps In Flames takes all worn-out stock from the release and brings it to the forefront.

Opener and title track "The City Sleeps In Flames" definitely has smooth melodies and a catchy chorus, keeping intact that dramatic affect. From there, an utterly boring album dips into sub-mediocre territory with cheesy metal riffs ("The Only Medicine"), auto-tuned lead vocals ("What's Said And Done"), annoying TRL balladry ("Just A Taste"), and mind-numbingly scuzzy synth/guitar combinations ("The Bright Side Of Suffering"). If not one of these things, the band is relying on any one of the following for a lyrical subject, metaphorically or otherwise: guns, hearts, dying, etc. al.

While Scary Kids Scaring Kids' After Dark certainly offered the promise of teaching a dog on life support new tricks, The City Sleeps In Flames is the lethal injection that puts it to sleep.

The City Sleeps In Flames