City Of Trees
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City Of Trees

Oceanside, New York, United States | SELF

Oceanside, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"City Of Trees asks, ‘Are you who you appear to be?’"

When they appeared on Long Island, the first thing I wrote about this band was in irritation; ‘City Of Trees? Isn’t that like…a forest? Why don’t they just call themselves that?’ Then I heard them practice. And in between a shadow and a song, they caught my pulse, settled me to mystery and left me peering through peripherals. Mysterious…until now. The name suits them. It suits their way of taking you sideways where you need to go. That’s right, Long Island and neighboring chest cavities, their debut EP drops December 8th. And they’re ready to talk.

I sat with this EP a long time after the band sent it over. Something was off about it- it was different, loaded. As I looked at it, it seemed to want to have a conversation with me, and this I did not understand; it was a burned disc, no more and no less. I hadn’t even heard a single note. But it smiled at me when finally I lifted to snap it into the stereo. And when I reached for the power button, it cackled. Immediately, I flustered at its forwardness and backed away. And in response to a question I hadn’t asked it said, “Ahh…you’ll see…”


I was bothered as soon as the intro hit. I didn’t like the guitar or the drums, I dismissed all the endings as unclear and I festered to pin where I’d heard the progression before. Then something struck me cold; it was not the progression I recognized, but this type of irritation in me. It’s how I get when someone’s telling me something I do not want to hear, something about myself that I do not want to hear. It cackled. I turned the volume up.

I continued mildly to try to fight against it- against the drums which produced a dark whim on the seam line of the bass part which hid thickly in foreboding shadows. It was not invasive, yet somehow felt dangerous. Determined to get past it, I kept an alerted ear on this bass part, but I must have gotten caught up in my distractions, because I realized suddenly that I was singing along word for word before the chorus of Track 1 had even completed a second time. I smiled a Cheshire’s smirk then, and gave in. How comfortable, this dark place. This must be what it feels like to be left in one’s own skin.

Lyrically, the album is a diamond; some slightly rare, yet completely harvestable rock for tweets, statuses, blogs, tattoos… turning points… Verses and choruses alike on this record have found and shamelessly used oozing words that are bound to stick to your chest at first breath in this world that City Of Trees gives you to examine. Bones, needle, thunderstorm, liar, midnight and sinner - they are in questions like, “Is your heart really safe is the hands of another?” and phrases such as, “Legs made of glass, conviction at last.“ And it is conviction, at last, that this band has brought to the surface with their recorded music.

“Introspection just made sense.” Zach Zanghi, who provides guitar and some vocals for City Of Trees, says of the EP’s title. He continues, “It’s our intro, our entrance into music saying what we stand behind. And it’s us looking at ourselves and giving you what we found musically and what I found lyrically. It’s challenging people to look at themselves, and to deal with what they might realize.”

Joe Pincus, the drummer, adds, “Each one of the songs on this album has motives of reflection, in different ways. And the order of the tracks can feel like a ride of sorts.”

I am caught up in that ride. In my abruptly new path that I have ventured ever since I hit play. I find myself existing in the world behind the mirror; living whole years by City Of Trees’ every half step. I am not safe from harm here, but with their guitars paving my way, I am no longer scared. I pass by so many parts (lead-prodding post choruses, drums hitting against 2nd verses) and they all stick out to me; all colored briefly in the graying circumstances that are my truths being laid out before me. And finally, the last track. Track 5.

“Track 5, ’Negative Me,’ is finding bad in yourself. It’s what happens when people find out they are what they don’t want to be.” Zanghi offers to me.

This time the intro is enough to catch me and by this track, I don’t even think to fight it. The 5th is the track to remember off Introspection. It will be the band’s calling card, their stamp, the mark they leave when they walk off-stage at their live show. And what a scarred mark it is.

Paired with a piercing raunch in the guitars, that shadowed bass turns dirty and suddenly I am dancing with my devils. There is vulgarity in my truths, I realize, as City Of Trees hands them to me one by one without rush and void of mercy. I get greedy. Cocky. I let out the darker workings of myself and I use them to complain that there is a lack of a part I want to be teeming from this score. I just want a righteous guitar to lead along with the vocals in the bridge! I want there to be that plateau of triumph- that release! And it must say something about me, then, that I am not patient enough. That I do not trust it to be there. Because when it does come, I reason that it was coming all along, that my path was always leading right to it.

This EP is structured as a treatment, each song a dosage. And it isn’t cure that you find at the end of the path. So you want to see where it leads you? You want to see the inside? It wasn’t long ago that City Of Trees arose in Long Island as a band. Now, with the official release of this EP, I’m proud to report- they are still rising. You think you can handle a look in the mirror? Let us see. Introspection comes out December 8th- leave your fears behind. A dark, off-beat dream in a world that is not so far as it may seem, is waiting for you. This band is waiting for you.

“Introspection for me is realizing how you can change, improve, reflect on yourself. It’s not a quick process, but everyone is capable. It definitely doesn’t always have a positive outcome, but for me I try to make it as positive as possible. Introspection helps me connect my decisions and confirms that I’m pushing myself in the right direction.” - Joe Pincus, City Of Trees

- Erica Martin

""Between a Shadow and a Song..." The Heart's Here"

Where has the heart gone? Seriously, I can't find it anywhere. It's certainly not in music these days. Heart might in fact be the single-most lacking factor in popular music right now. Balls of course being second, (Top 40's target audience is 12-24 year old women after all).

There is still some hope for music, however. City of Trees' debut EP Introspection, was released earlier this morning, and I could not even wait a single day to scream it's praises from the top of this Cyber Mountain.

The first three ticks on track one are reminiscent of a three punch combo. Two jabs from the bass drum, immediately followed by a knockout hay-maker of sound. House maintains the initial intensity throughout- powered by a persistently aggressive bass line, screaming guitars and damn-exciting/intriguing changes. The breakdown following the first chorus is my personal highlight of this track- Breaking Benjamin on crack. The raging guitar solo emotes beautifully and truly ties the song together leading into the final chorus.

As you travel the album's journey, you are constantly flipped on your head. The songs have a weaving feel to them, taking you into and out of dark places, up and down for lows and highs. City of Trees effectively speeds you up to weigh you down. Each track jerks you in a different direction- but it is this harshness that makes this album so baiting. Introspection is properly named, as you will undoubtedly be forced into your own head. Are you who you appear to be?

Aside from the threatening riffs, booming fills and magnificent breakdowns that litter this album, the pure poetry upheld throughout proves perpetually important. Zach Zanghi's word choice is impeccable and maintains the menacing tones of the music behind them. This blissful marriage of composition and bleeding emotion peaks in its culmination during the final track Negative Me. The ever-aggressive, yet fluid guitar, the raw feeling in Dan Cerney's voice and pure penned passion:

Ice cold, staring at the wall.
I've been standing far too tall. (I am)
Dead wrong.
Skipping over records like a needle,
I stumble over words that I created.
I spin out my thoughts have been racing.
Negative me. Negative me.
I'm no different from those that I scorn,
Life unblessed since the day I was born.

Check out City of Trees on bandcamp and "Pick Your Own Price" when downloading Introspection. - Joe Lagalante


Introspection - December 8, 2010



City of Trees likes the work ethic of DIY ("Do it Yourself"), and has been using this technique hand in hand with the new release of Introspection. David 'Shmave' Steinholz, a good friend of COT, and a great artist who has let us use his artwork for the album, being his first published piece. Michelle Civil, another good friend of COT, is a local photographer who helped us take promotional shots. Erica Martin, and Joe Lagalante, both local writers helped us out and wrote reviews on what they thought of the album.