Still too glossy, but has some bright spots
Worgelm | United States | 02/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"(2.5 stars) Perhaps inspired by a brief chart appearance thanks to the Gilmour-era Floyd inspired _From The Greenhouse_, CTS start to show appearances of operating like a real band, retaining largely the same lineup. _Dog City_ starts out with an ominous-sounding keyboard drone and various electronic percussion, eerily building towards the title track, which is an enjoyable enough pastiche of Pink Floyd (the 80's Gilmour edition) with some good, Gilmouresque guitar work. The cleverly-titled "Love Me Like A Terrorist", another quirky Palumbo relationship study, intrigues and eventually overcomes its generic hard rock sound with some clever compositional twists. "She was the American Girl/Alone and afraid/He would be Carlos tonight/The 'Angel of Pain'" Elsewhere "Lost Boys" borrows liberally again from the book of Floyd, borrowing the opening riffs and atmosphere of "Wish You Were Here" before the superchoruses, big 80s snare and cavernous kick come crashing in to ruin the fun. The promising, grim and arty "Don't Call Me Brother" is similarly buried in an avalanche of synth-drum badness and badly dated keyboard tones. Indeed, the dated production gloss is often a detriment to this music, which in places has enough spark that it might have been more successful with a grittier feel, especially around the drums. The derivative nature of the songwriting ensures it doesn't hold up to any of the prime '70s output, but at this point in their lifespan CTS is showing signs of life, building something a little different over the small successes of the previous album. And while there is a noticable dip in the song quality right around the cheezy "Mr President", there is some confidence in Palumbo's songwriting voice and performance here overall, and its certainly not embarassing to their legacy (like _Raw_)."