City of Dis is a 4-piece rock band from Boston, MA. With a focus on sweet harmony, complex rhythm, and crushing dissonance, City of Dis is creating a new progressive sound. Heavily rooted in grunge, metal, and progressive rock, the band creates music that can be harsh, yet still intensely beautiful.
City of Dis began forming in 2012, when guitarist/vocalist Bryan Hassell and drummer James Cooper left their old band in search of a new musical direction. As they’d been performing together for years, writing songs together came to them easily. However, it wasn’t until 2013, when guitarist Kevin Ronan joined, that things really started to take shape. They trio went on rehearsing and writing as they searched for and auditioned bassists, until they came across Juan Pablo Blanco that November. With the lineup complete, the band would spend the next year developing material, and even recording demo tracks. Then, in November 2014, they finally performed their first show. From there, they maintained their live presence throughout the greater Boston area, playing at venues like Hard Rock, Middle East Downstairs, and Obrien’s. In February 2016 the band decided to record their debut EP A Flawed Design. Released this June, the self-produced record is a testament to where the band is at with their sound right now.
With the release of the A Flawed Design EP, City Of Dis brings a new strength to a classic genre. With addicting progressions and guitar sections, a melodic and soulful vocal approach, and a genre-bending aesthetic that transcends stylistic limitations, the record reflects what forward thinking heavy music should be. Although the songs are diverse from one another, there is a glue that holds them all together much like a concept album would. Most importantly, the record never loses sight of the emotional platform great songs are built from.
The first single, “Malthus”, puts City of Dis’ power and range on full display. Complete with musical swells and climaxes, high energy breakdowns, and epic choruses, the song seems to breathe as it plays on.
“The song was inspired by the theory of Malthusean Catastrophe. Basically, it’s about the idea that unless we curb population growth and resource distribution, population growth will deplete our resources and lead to hunger, disease, and war. The lyrics allude to the false, almost religious faith that people place in humankind's ability to prevent this from happening without a true paradigm shift in how we treat both the planet and our fellow humans. ‘Malthus’ is in a way a more straightforward song than some of the others in the album. The musical exploration in this song is more restrained, instead focusing on the dynamics of the song,” explains bassist/vocalist Juan Pablo Blanco of the band’s single.
Although the single does speak volumes for the EP, to get a real understanding for where City Of Dis is coming from, A Flawed Design should be heard in its entirety.