March 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Cities Aviv – Come To Life

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Cities Aviv
Come To Life
Young One
Street: 01.28
Cities Aviv = (Black Flag + Common) / Technotronic
I don’t know if Gavin Mays, the man behind Cities Aviv, is trying to rap. All I know is it’s pretty fucking clear that he can’t. He produces really cool beats, though, and that makes up for a lot. Come To Life is by no means bad. It is, nevertheless, deeply indebted to Death Grips (with whom Cities Aviv has toured). Mays is slowly carving out his own niche and the frantic, late-’80s influenced beats here are neither as hard nor as desperate as Death Grips, but easier to digest. While the result isn’t terribly memorable, there are a few bangers. Early single “URL IRL” packs the biggest punch. Listen closely, however, and you’ll discover Mays isn’t saying much worth pondering. I fear his lyrics aren’t evocative because he has nothing to evoke. “Do you know what’s good?” he barks in the chorus. I do actually, and this is just OK. –Dan Vesper

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