Everything Looks Worse in Black and White, the debut album from The City and Skyway, is a real album, one that isn’t overproduced, retouched or anything close. When you listen to this record you are getting TCAS in all their stripped down glory – pure emotion and passion, an idea that some bands have lost touch with. Vocalist Barry Johnston’s welcoming voice gives the record some subtly soft undertones, something that is prevalent throughout the disc. You should feel at home while listening. It’s Midwest indie done right.
The City and Skyway definitely possess a driving rock vibe with an indie tilt, reminiscent of what Bayside has made their living off for so many years. No, TCAS aren’t Bayside. That would be unfair to both parties. Mostly, Everything Looks Worse in Black and White is greatly effectual (listen to “Killing Pill”) as it effectively sways (“Doctor, We Need Healing”) and thoughtfully crushes (“From My Hospital Bed”), leading itself to emotionally charged crashes of sound (“1111 East Main”).
The bleeding heart tendencies of Everything Looks Worse in Black and White sell its pure everyman vibe. It is an album that can be catastrophically gut-wrenching when it wants to be. With such a massive body of work as this record in their arsenal, it’s hard to imagine this band being unsigned, and easy to imagine that they won’t be for long.