City (Strapping Young Lad album)

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Studio album by Strapping Young Lad
Released February 11, 1997
Recorded 1996
Genre Extreme metal, industrial metal
Length 39:22
Label Century Media
Producer Devin Townsend
Strapping Young Lad chronology
Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing
No Sleep 'till Bedtime
Devin Townsend chronology
Punky Brüster – Cooked on Phonics
No Sleep 'till Bedtime

City is the second album by Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad. It was released on February 11, 1997. The album was re-released in 2007 with several bonus tracks and altered cover art. Frontman Devin Townsend assembled a permanent lineup of Strapping Young Lad to record City, including prolific drummer Gene Hoglan, and Townsend's former bandmates Jed Simon on guitar and Byron Stroud on bass. The album was critically acclaimed with Revolver naming it one of "the greatest metal albums of all time",[1] and it is widely considered Strapping Young Lad's best work.


After releasing the first Strapping Young Lad album, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing, as a solo album, Townsend recruited a permanent line-up for the second album: Jed Simon on guitar, Byron Stroud on bass and Gene Hoglan on drums.

Devin moved to the UK to work with the Wildhearts, before moving back to Vancouver to work at a restaurant. He then decided to move to LA and "move in with some mutual friends and (I) slept on their couch and wrote "Ocean Machine" and "City.". [2] The album was written about the city of Los Angeles. [2]

City was remastered and re-released in 2007, and included several unreleased tracks, as well as a Japanese bonus track and the video for "Detox".[3] The album was re-released in 2012, and includes a CD version of For Those Aboot to Rock: Live at the Commodore as a bonus disc. Teddy Möller (credited as "Septic Ted") from Loch Vostok appears as a guest saxophonist on the joke-track "Headrhoid".[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[5]

City received highly positive reviews. Kerrang! praised the album for its heaviness, claiming it sounded like "sticking your head into the jet nozzle of a Stealth Bomber",[6] while Metal Hammer ranked it No. 13 on its "Top 20 Albums of 1997" list.[7] The album gained a cult following and a loyal fan base for the band.[8] City is considered to be the band's best effort by a large number of fans[9] and critics alike.[10][11]

In 2002, the album was No. 45 on Revolver magazine's "69 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time" list,[1] and was on their "Must Have Metal Albums" list in 2005.[8] It also appeared on the "100 Most Important Albums of the Nineties" list conducted by Terrorizer.[12] Townsend himself stated City "is the real Strapping record. That's the ultimate one out of all of them".[13] City sold over 9,000 copies its first week.[14] The song "Oh My Fucking God" was later covered by fellow Canadian extreme metal band Cryptopsy, for a compilation album by Century Media.[15]

Public reception[edit]

City was very well received by the public. On Rate Your Music the album has an average rating of 3.85 of 5, based on more than 1,100 ratings,[16] and on Sputnikmusic the album has a "superb" average rating of 4.4 of 5, based on more than 1,050 ratings.[17]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Devin Townsend, except as noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Velvet Kevorkian"   1:17
2. "All Hail the New Flesh"   5:24
3. "Oh My Fucking God"   3:34
4. "Detox"   5:37
5. "Home Nucleonics"   2:31
6. "AAA"   5:21
7. "Underneath the Waves"   3:40
8. "Room 429" (Tod Ashley) (Cop Shoot Cop cover) 5:21
9. "Spirituality"   6:34

Bonus tracks[edit]

No. Title Length
10. "Centipede" (available on Japanese release and 2007 remaster) 7:55
11. "Home Nucleonics" ('96 demo, available on Japanese release of No Sleep 'till Bedtime and 2007 remaster) 3:02
12. "Headrhoid" (Gunt demo, available on Japanese release of No Sleep 'till Bedtime and 2007 remaster) 1:38
13. "Detox" ('96 demo, available on Japanese release of No Sleep 'till Bedtime and 2007 remaster) 5:48
14. "AAA" ('96 demo, available on Japanese release of No Sleep 'till Bedtime and 2007 remaster) 5:22


Strapping Young Lad[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

The Cruxfrog Choir[edit]

Val (Chris Valago), Stoolie B. Flames (Byron Stroud), The Tower, Pete "this beer reminds me of the beaches in Portugal" Maia

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Daniel Bergstrandengineering, mix engineering
  • Danne the Manne – additional production
  • Mercello Gomes – assistant engineering
  • Steve Good – assistant engineering
  • Matteo Caratozzolo – recording engineering
  • The Tower – second recording engineering
  • Steve Good – studio coordination
  • Mc2 – editing
  • Lulu Devine – editing
  • Adrian White – additional drum arrangements on "AAA"
  • Strapping Young Lad – additional arrangements
  • Masa Noda – photography
  • Dan Collins – photography


  1. ^ a b "The 69 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Revolver. 2002, September/October.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ [1] at AllMusic. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^ City (Strapping Young Lad album) at AllMusic. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  6. ^ Sheils, Liam. "Strapping Young Lad - City". Kerrang!. February 1, 1997, Iss. 633.
  7. ^ "Top 20 Albums of 1997". Metal Hammer. December 1997.
  8. ^ a b "Strapping Young Lad: ALIEN CD Release". 2005-03-23. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Rademacher, Brian (2005-08-11). "Interview with Jed Simon". Rock Eyez Webzine. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ Bergman, Keith. "Strapping Young Lad - The New Black review". Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ Begrand, Adrien (2005-03-25). "Strapping Young Lad: Alien review". PopMatters. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ "100 Most Important Albums of the Nineties". Terrorizer. February 2000, Iss. 75.
  13. ^ "Strapping Young Lad Are All Rocked Out". Exclaim!. July 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  14. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - Metal/Hard Rock Album Sales In The US As Reported By SoundScan". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  15. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - CRYPTOPSY Covers STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's 'Oh My F**king God'; Audio Available". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  16. ^ "City by Strapping Young Lad (Album, Industrial Metal)". Sonemic. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Strapping Young Lad - City User Opinions". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved October 4, 2015.