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DOUG GALLANTS: Little Cities scores big with new EP

Little Cities new six-song EP really packs a punch and bodes well for the Charlottetown band’s future. The set is only available at the present time on streaming platforms.
Little Cities new six-song EP really packs a punch and bodes well for the Charlottetown band’s future. The set is only available at the present time on streaming platforms. - Contributed

FAST FACTS

The origin of Little Cities dates back a couple of years to a summer gig at Fishbones when Mat and Mike Hannah pieced together a band to perform tributes to the favourite bands of their youth, Blink 182, The Killers, My Chemical Romance, Weezer, Goo Goo Dolls and others.


Some records do it for you the first time you hear them.


Some records grow on you.


The good ones can do both.


That’s the way it works on the new eponymous six-song EP from Charlottetown’s Little Cities.


The first time I listened to tracks like Wasted, Can I Come Over, Roots and ‘Bout You I was sold me on the record, which embraces all that was good about alternative/indie rock and pop punk bands like Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, Blink-182, Weezer and Green Day.


I played it start to finish three times over a two-day period and every time I played it, I found something more to like about this record.


Recorded in part before the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) outbreak and in part during the pandemic, when band members were isolated, the six songs here have the kind of energy, rhythmic drive and sense of purpose that makes it virtually impossible for you to just sit there and listen. It’s a get up on your feet and let the music take you where it will kind of record.


I almost cut myself with a potato peeler listening to Roots.


Everything works here, the solid guitar tracks from Mat Hannah and Mitch Gallant, the big thick bass lines of Mike Hannah, Josh Pitre’s keyboard tracks, Ryan P. Gallant’s powerful contributions on drums and solid vocals all around.


So what’s their focus here.


Vocalist/guitarist Mat Hannah described the project in a recent interview as a record about the ups and downs of friendships and relationships, about growing up in small-town P.E.I., about alcohol and partying and realizing when it’s time to cut back on the partying.


Much of the record was produced by Paper Lions’ Colin Buchanan, who has become a first-class guy to have in the studio, but the lead single, Can I Come Over, was produced by heavy-hitter Gavin Brown. Brown’s past studio credits include producing sessions for Billy Talent, Metric, Sarah Harmer and The Tragically Hip. He also co-wrote that track.


Writing credits for the album are shared by Hannah, Mitch Gallant, Pitre and Ryan P. Gallant. Platinum-award winning songwriter Davor Vulama also has a writing credit on Wasted.


That they were able to make a record during this pandemic speaks volumes about their commitment to making music they love and to working with each other.
 Wasted, for example, was actually recorded remotely.


“None of us were ever in the same room for the writing or recording process of the song, which was a weird, but cool, experience," said Mat Hannah.

I am looking forward to hearing them do some of this material live almost as much as they’re looking forward to playing it for a live audience.


(Rating 3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

Doug Gallant is a freelance writer and well-known connoisseur of a wide variety of music. His On Track column will appear in The Guardian every second Thursday. To comment on what he has to say or to offer suggestions for future reviews, email him at dpagallant@gmail.com.

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