The City Drive

Always Moving Never Stopping

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Falling into the emo ranks somewhere near the All-American Rejects, Los Angeles-based the City Drive sounds like a direct product of the warm California sun, even if most of the band is made up of non-West Coast natives. The band's freshman offering is exactly what its title, Always Moving Never Stopping, suggests. It drives with the attitude and energy of a pop-punk band, but with the rock sensibilities of a group like Weezer. They hardly let the fun subside, even during the occasional delving into gentler terrain. Songs of this nature, like "Saints" and "Light Years," the latter a tender piano-spiked number, are just as passionately delivered due to lead singer Danny Smith's strong presence. Their sound may be built around Smith, but as the band bops forward from the energetic opener "Defeated" -- with sweet melodies, layered vocals and the occasional keys in tow -- all three members are responsible for the City Drive's overall exuberance. After all, the vocals are probably one of the album's strongest parts; though solid on their own, when layered they give the band a much fuller sound. Even "Over and Done" and "Give Up Love" rock out quite convincingly with brisk rhythms and occasional hints of latter-day Green Day. And while songs start to run into one another at one point, the band sounds so damn enthusiastic about everything -- from the exuberant bounce-step of "Bring Me Everything" to the playful sway of "Overready" -- it's hard to care after awhile as you're singing and tapping along.

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