All Through a Life - Cities Become Ideals [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

All Through a Life

Cities Become Ideals [7-inch] (2008)

Clue #2

You may be disappointed if you come to All Through a Life's Cities Become Ideals 7" expecting some straight Rites of Spring worship. I mean, it's not too far off, maybe--All Through a Life do a very solid and distressed but tempered brand of '90s-style, jagged emotional hardcore. But they do it with enough melody and structure in that they're never too abrasive, but never completely heartbreaking, either.

Still, the pained narratives of these three songs are delivered with an interesting edge and Jesus Lizard/Jehu-like sense of sharp, dizzying guitars that drive the tracks rather well. Although Zoey's vocals aren't the easiest to follow along with, the lyrics seem less personal and more a reflection on the pain of war and hate (and their practically tangible give-and-take)--the title track is an intense proclamation, a picturesque diatribe that vaguely sounds like a discussion on gentrification at points but more likely is a general critique on history ("I was stalking through this city / once prideful faces, replaced by ghosts / hunted chapters of man's abuse of power / 1948 became a cycle").

This 7" has been out some time, but it's definitely still worth a listen or three, as All Through a Life have taken some sorted inspirations to create an intelligent and pointed piece of up-tempo emotional hardcore with just enough of a melodic bite to keep it completely comprehendible.

Cities Become Ideals