As Cities Burn grapple with the American Dream on new song, ‘Chains’


As Cities Burn for president! [PC: Alex Bemis.]



There is rarely even any ethical consumption under capitalism, as is there rarely a chance for a majority of the U.S. population to attain the coveted “American Dream” their country used as a golden ideal for generations. After all, in today’s worldly climate, and unless one’s passion has turned into their profession and keeps their lights on, we sadly often must shackle ourselves to a chain of some sort to survive; some pillar of the larger system in order to get by. Self-made restrictions on an already uneven social and economic playing-field that make us feel there are only certain ways to make a living whilst being stuck in this together. This is the focal point behind the compassionate yet also pointed political lyricism of the latest track from As Cities Burn, as their comeback-era takes another step forward.

New song ‘Chains‘ is pretty much moving before you even press play; it wastes none of your time and skips the pleasantries, diving into melodic, rhythmic, riffy and artful sounds. Electrifying and thoughtful post-hardcore that doesn’t at all sound dated or tired, ‘Chains‘ truly makes As Cities Burn sound and feel rejuvenated and important once more. This tune follows up their previous single, the individualism of ‘2020 AD‘ from November 2018, and this feels just as striking as said song. If faster, busier, a little more hooky and a bit more instantly gratifying right off the bat. That being said, ‘Chains‘ is easily my favourite of the two singles thus far!

The back-and-forth layering of brother vocalists TJ (those throaty, visceral screams) Cody Bonnette (the soothing clean vocals) are a true staple of past As Cities Burn releases, and the band sure haven’t forgotten their roots here. The very same goes for their solid instrumental idiosyncrasies too. Yet it never once feels like a shallow throwback or like a cynical nostalgia trip. This just feels like what this re-ignited group should sound like in the current year, a full decade on since their initial disbanding in 2009.

This is how a band’s return is supposed to be; special, full of substance, and also sounding really fucking good! As Cities Burn’s new album, ‘Scream Through Walls‘, is out June 7th via Equal Vision Records. Pick your chain below:


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