Label: Sturm Und Drang Recordings / R*E*P*E*A*T Release date: Out Now Website: Ten City Nation.com Buy: Amazon Ten City Nation(TCN) are a noisy phoenix from the flames of Miss Black America but are possessed of little spark. This foremost of impressions that they endeavor to impress on you is also essentially the only one you’ll have; second album At The Still Point is a split between formless noise, laboured vocals and painfully dissonant attempts at melodic segments. Opening wall of noise Flashing Lights begins promisingly enough with rumbling bass and wailing guitars, but the almost monotonous vocal line and lack of any real variation throughout the four-minute track quickly dashes those hopes. The inevitably down-tempo and and melodic third track switches things up a little in terms of dynamics, but the almost trad-country stylings sit very awkwardly within the context of the album, and unexpectedly actually sets the tone for the over-long remainder of the album. Henceforth what few dynamics remain leave far too much focus on Mike Smith’s vocals, which swiftly prove too weak to support the sagging instrumentation. Unfortunately, that problem is both typical and symptomatic of an album that, despite their Myspace genre being ‘rock/rock/rock’ seems to have a seriously hard time rocking out. Lagging and tired, tenuously named tracks such as Battle Lost Battle Found and Silent Disco struggle to hit any kind of stride, whilst the production itself is equally as lazy. The overall effect is of a teenage garage band hashing together an album full of demos. Ten City Nation aren’t a band reaching wildly out for the new sound, for some lofty ambition. They’re content to embrace a few punk rock sensibilities and do their thing which for some will please. However, for a sophomore effort, At The Still Point is uninspired, bland and devoid of any the energy they might have live. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the album artwork which depicts an empty corridor says it all. Rating: 3.5/10