Nobody would think that people from the great state of Ohio and people from the ‘state up north’ (we mean… *shudder* Michigan) could ever cooperate to make something great – besides a winning Buckeyes game. But Citizen, a blended group of post-hardcore and indie rock, has done the impossible – people from the rival states have worked together. After releasing their first full-length album in 2013, Citizen just recently released their ‘sophomore LP’, titled Everybody Is Going To Heaven.
The first track, Cement, starts off bold and dark, with clear drums and the strange, muffly vocals not unlike the ones used by Frank Iero in his solo music. The vocals contrast the instruments nicely, but the music almost seems a bit lacking in energy. The second track, Dive Into My Sun, is longer, just clearing four minutes. Although it’s a stereotypical rock setup (bass, guitar, drums, vocals) the music is slower than most mainstream rock songs. Around the middle, there are several smaller buildups, and then a large one, culminating in a slight change of guitar melody. The song ends with a string symphony, a refreshing twist, playing softly in the background before leading straight into the next track, Numb Yourself. This song is faster paced, and has a more energetic feel to it. With a more post-hardcore sound than the past few, Numb Yourself is surprisingly melancholic and deep. At the end of the third track, a heavy staticky sound can be heard, bringing us right into Heaviside. Heaviside is the fourth track, and is much slower and gentler than the previous three. It also has drumbeats that sound like they were more influenced by jazz music than anything else – lots of quiet cymbal is prominent. The songs all have a slightly muffled quality to the guitar and bass, but the vocals and drums are very clear. Heaviside does a slow fadeout before harsh, sliding guitar feedback is heard, starting the next song off harshly. My Favorite Color has the louder, slightly scream-ier quality that essentially defines post-hardcore. At about a minute left in the song, the drums and guitar fade out, and we are left with an eerie sounding, hushed melody that drifts into Weave Me (Into Yr Sin). Weave Me (Into Yr Sin) has many of the same themes seen in the rest of the album; none of the songs vary too drastically from each other. Stain is the next track, still with the surprisingly slow tempo, but this time, they add in impressive guitars and screaming. Most of the song is in fact screaming rather than singing, making it different in that way from the rest. Ring Of Chain, the last song, is much like the rest, except with impressive, higher vocals.
Although their music can seem a bit repetitive, Citizen is clearly a talented group. Besides that, they’re an example of people who should be mortal enemies coming together to create quality indie rock music. We can’t wait to see what Citizen has in store – and in the meantime, let’s just hope they don’t love football.