Search The City Is Back To Remind Us Of Detroit’s Secrets

Written by Mel Says & Nathan Ryall

Everyone knows that empty feeling that anchors itself in the pit of your stomach when a band that holds a special place in your heart and has probably gotten you through some tough times, has decided to call it quits. Rarely does that feeling reverse itself, filling that tiny void with adolescent excitement and whisking you back to a time when a particular album was lodged in the afterstock CD player of your hand-me-down beater car, because that band you were once so connected to has declared two simple words: We’re Back. Search The City is one of those bands.

From the suburbs of Detroit, Search The City first broke out of our charming local bubble with the release of their first EP, Ghosts, in 2006 and reached another milestone when they signed with Tooth & Nail Records to release the full length A Fire So Big The Heavens Can See. If you’ve spent some time on any Pandora stations by the likes of New Found Glory, The Wonder Years or others within the alternative/pop-punk genre, you’ve probably “thumbs up’d” songs like “Detroit Was Built On Secrets” or “The Rescue.” Although there isn’t a track on the album that deserves to be nexted, these are a couple of songs that stick to fans, offering a fast-tempo rollercoaster ride of peaks and valleys. We can say this with authority as we belted out some favorites to the best of our ability on the way home from STC’s rebirth at The Crofoot’s Pike Room after being visibly missing from the scene for roughly four years.

As with any band that has undergone a significant hiatus, adjustments have been made to the original lineup and the new outfit is radiating with energy and eagerness for what’s in store. Back in March of 2012 when the time came time to hold tryouts for a new singer, the vocally-driven five-piece were a bit wary about replacing the original singer with Travis Bobier; and rightfully so. It’s not often a band can swap out their frontman and put a new voice behind the microphone without alienating a few fans. Fortunately for Search The City, it seems that their faithful admirers are just happy to have them back in the studio and on the road. Founding member and lead guitarist Jim Czech interjected, “We love our fans that stuck around and grew up with us. We’re changing as musicians, and people as well, so our new record will be a little different from our first but we want to grow with our fans and make sure that they’re still getting what they want.”

With Saturday being only the third show as Czech, Bobier, Alex Sheldon on guitar, Joe Marks on Bass and Chris Jenkins on drums, it’s tough to admit there was ever a gap in the STC’s existence based on the crowd’s welcoming response to a set list that was backloaded with favorites from the previously mentioned full length, as well as a pair from the most recently released EP titled 2012. When asked about any reservations of resurrecting the band, newcomer Bobier said, “We’re just five crazy dudes that decided to try and throw this together and make it work.”

Lucky for fans all over the country, Search The City had the collective balls to forge on, fully aware of possible consequences of the decision to preserve their established name instead of starting fresh. Czech, being one of the main writers since day one, added, “Why start over when we put so much time and effort into something that we put our heart and soul into for so long?”

Time will tell what lies in store for Search The City, but for now they are working diligently on their next album, titled “Flight,” slated for a Spring/Summer 2013 release. The wonderful World Wide Web assures us that the band is alive and well these days and the guys are doing everything in their power to properly reclaim their mark on the Detroit scene, interacting with fans on every social network known to man and gracefully accepting last minute interview requests from a trio of information-hungry hooligans such as ourselves at BackRoads with Phyllis.

It’s always fascinating to witness the path of a band that still has the taste of success lingering on their tongue attempt to resume the struggle that most likely led to their earlier downfall. After observing, first hand, the liveliness of one of the first comeback shows and speaking with each of the guys, it is clear that Search The City is determined not to be forgotten.


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