By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Way back in 2007, Denton's The Demigs released Yardling, a howling and thunderous debut that channeled Chris Demiglio's Pixies fascination into 13 well-executed alt-rock gems. Critics faulted Demiglio for sounding too much like Frank Black, and, to be sure, songs such as "Solvents" and "Summer Spiders" would certainly feel at home as bonus cuts on reissues of such Pixies classics as Surfer Rosa and Doolittle. Perhaps in response to such criticisms, Demiglio totally retooled his band and waited four years to release a sophomore effort. Cities Can Wait is the result of those moves and from the outset, it's clear that Demiglio wants to stand clear of any easy comparisons.
Beginning with "Red Palomino," this version of The Demigs is considerably less edgy. Gone are the over-the-top vocals and prickly guitar solos. Instead, Demiglio actually sings instead of shouts, as his trio of relatively new sidemen set a modest pace. This newfound maturity has resulted in Demiglio writing the most coherent set of songs of his career. Cuts such as "Sophisticates and Sedatives," "Lowly" and "Both Hands Out" are beautifully restrained examples of indie rock that showcase The Demigs' newfound charisma.
And, by sacrificing sheer brute force for discipline and smarts, The Demigs have made an album for folks other than Black Francis devotees.
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