Listening to Cities, one thing is obvious-these guys have done their homework when it comes to obscure punk rhythms and experimental overtones. Variations keeps that studiousness in check, but adds an even darker flair, courtesy of searing remixes by Ladytron, Daedelus, and Isan. Although every song retains Cities’ pop sensibility, Fog takes the cake with his charmingly hostile “Black Metal Mix,” turning the otherwise pensive “OOC” into satanic hellfire. Since Cities is yet to take the already bloated indie scene by the proverbial balls, a comp of this magnitude just showcases the band’s genuine potential.