On My Playlist: Top 5 City Lights songs

City Lights
City Lights

City Lights was one of the pioneers and proclaimers of pop-punk and easycore music and the group’s influence is still felt in this genre today. Known for their uplifting lyrics and upbeat tunes, City Lights was a one of a kind band that hooked you with their infectious beats from the start.
The band consisted of Oshie Bichar – lead vocals; Sean Smith – drums, percussion; Chase Clymer – bass; Jeremy Smith – lead guitar, vocals and Will Deely – rhythm guitar and vocals.
5. What It Takes
This honest, real track from City Lights looks at self-doubt and how you can escape its clutches. Smith’s drums are also fantastic and full of speed and expression, while Deely’s guitar work is also of the highest order in this flowing number. ‘Is this real? Am I just killing time? Travelling on a road that leads to nowhere. Today’s the day, I won’t give up the fight. Instead, I’m gonna prove I’ve got what it takes,’ sings Bichar with defiance. ‘I’ve made my mistakes, but I won’t turn back now. My friends have my back, and we will stand our ground. I’ve made my mistakes, but I won’t turn back now. My friends have my back, and we will stand our ground.’

4.Please Let Me Know
‘Someone please let me know That it’s okay for me to not let go of how it felt to have the entire world at my feet. Not a worry on my mind’ is how this song starts off with Bichar’s monologue before it kicks off with a melodic riff. It looks at how times change and how time sometimes flies beyond our control. The secret, though, is to learn how to adapt to it and this track is the perfect example of this. The lyrics, ‘Sitting on the edge of our seats Anticipating what would come next. Who’d have thought that someday would get here so damn soon?’ sums this up perfectly.

3. Trophy Room
This quirky track is one of the band’s best songs about keeping a watchful eye out for women who only use and abuse men emotionally: ‘I dodged a bullet again. That was a close one. Almost fell for her trap but I will live to tell about it. I may have escaped today but she’ll never give up ‘Til she’s got my insides Hanging in her trophy room.’ The lyrics, interestingly, equate relationships with a chase where the girlfriend can hunt down her prey until she gets what she wants. One of the most imaginative, strangely upbeat songs in City Lights’ repertoire.
2. My Entire Life
The guitar riff and lead guitar parts, alone, are worth the listen in this song. This is, without a doubt, one of the best numbers from City Lights. The track focuses on romantic relationships and the thrill of loving someone despite their intricacies. The song also focuses on the problems with long-distance relationships and the longing they create: ‘Carry me away. Anywhere as long as you are there. I need to see your face. I don’t care how long it takes. If I have to wait forever You know I will Because I’ve never felt anything like this in my entire life.’

1. Where You’ve Been
This inspirational, uplifting song literally hits all the right notes from the start. The piano intro is absolutely gorgeous, combined with the ensuing pop-punk riffs that complement the song in the verse.
‘Always love as long as you live. Nobody can go back in time and try to make a new beginning but if you start with today you can make a better ending for yourself,’ sings Bichar at full tilt.
‘Don’t listen when anybody doubts your ability to be successful. The greatest pleasure in life is doing what they said you couldn’t do,’ is another brilliant nugget of advice from this band in the optimistic second verse.
Naturally, the chorus is also one of the highlights with lyrics to truly live by: ‘It’s not about where you’ve been, it’s where you want to be. It’s not about where you’re from It’s where you see yourself when the world’s gone mad and you’re the last one left standing. If you believe in yourself, you’ve got everything you need.’
The bridge also has a typical hardcore flavour with an emphatic breakdown and gang vocals to end the song on the best note possible.

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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