The City and Skyway Everything Looks Worse In Black and White

The City and Skyway Everything Looks Worse In Black and White
The City and Skyway's Barry Johnston spent years working as an engineer on the road for the likes of Alkaline Trio, Bad Religion and Anthrax before forming this band in 2006. Members have played in acts like Dashboard Confessional, Hey Mercedes and the Promise Ring, yet this album is not the early '00s emo epiphany I expected. Everything Looks Worse In Black and White is a somewhat hazy debut that might simply be the victim of muddy production. The songs are ripe, along the vein of familiar melodic Midwestern indie punk, but the recording doesn't encapsulate what I imagine their live show conveys. "In November" and "1111 East Main" are standouts that shimmer with a touch of vulnerability; it's not uber-original but it's tender and thoughtful. There are many allusions lyrically to sickness and hurt, providing a prominent aura of melancholy. It's a pleasing debut but it's no Maybe I'll Catch Fire. (Independent)