Review: City of Vermin – 11/12/13

Local Music Reviews

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City of Vermin

Street: 07.19.14
City of Vermin = Green Day + Blue October

Homegrown City of Vermin have given us an acoustic-leaning grunge album that is emotionally shaking and sonically enveloping. In 11/12/13, the quiet-versus-loud dynamic is heavily at work—yet this dynamic is played out over darkly driving percussion (provided by Cameron Jorgensen), lushly layered post-punk guitars, sweeping string arrangements, and an occasional ukulele (provided by Chris Jenson). But perhaps the most captivating feature of the album is the vocal and lyrical work of Cortland Johnson, which might be described as an adventure through ’90s and early ’00s alternative-rock radio, tuned for modern ears. My only issue with the album is its length (running nearly an hour) in combination with the seeming lack of grand sonic-variation (for even a good thing can turn stale), yet even with that, 11/12/13 is not an album to slough off, but an auditory exercise worth daring—a date worth taking. –Z. Smith