When a band changes their writing structure, it could make for an interesting turnout. The Devil Wears Prada set out to do something special for Record Store Day, something unconventional to their regular, methodical writing process: Record a song in four days with no ideas formulated beforehand. This would also serve as the last song that founding guitarist Chris Rubey would be participating with for the band. In that respect, listening to the song also has a goodbye factor as well.
The end result is … well .. a Devil Wears Prada song. “South of The City”, while complied very quickly and spontaneously is a track you would expect from the band on previous albums. The song starts with creepy keyboard arrangements and percussion accented by lead singer Mike Hranca’s beckoning intertwined with clean and rough vocals. “When it rains, I feel better/And when I start to feel better/I wait to get worse”. The song’s tone is very similar to “Assistant to the Regional Manager”, though not as aggressive, as TDWP has been going to a very heavy sound in subsequent records. There’s a sadness or longing within the composition. The guitars from Rubey and Jeremy DePoyster build up into the chorus where the rough vocals of Hranca and DePoyster clash.
I don’t feel that this song is indicative of the upcoming Space EP, but it’s admirable that a band can get out of their comfort zone and push themselves to work under a deadline. The end result is what we have been used to in previous songs we have heard. Although the song was done on the spot, the band as a collective is comfortable in the song that they have helped forge.
Hardcore | Rise Records