Citizen have made a release every couple of years for a while now. Their debut EP, Young States was released in 2011, followed by first album Youth in 2013 and Everybody Is Going To Heaven in 2015. True to form, this next album has come another two years later, marking not only the band’s ambition, but also their work ethic. Each album has marked a change in the bands style, slowly growing away from their hardcore roots and more into a newer, melodic sound. You wouldn’t usually expect that change to come easily to any band, but for Citizen, it has gone pretty smoothly so far, with each record improving on the last.
But as with every review, it is the here and now that’s important, and this, Citizen’s third full-length LP is impressive to say the least. It showcases some of their softest work, with a lot of heavier influences too. When you feel like the record is at its’ quietest, the silence will be punctured by thundering guitars and intense vocals, showing the band looking not only ahead, but favourably on their past. For example, ‘Discrete Routine’ starts off as one of the quietest songs of the record before slowly building up into an intense finale. And the great songs doesn’t stop there either, with opener Jet being a perfect example of what the band set out to do, with a perfect mixture of soft and harsh, and a great chorus. ‘In The Middle Of It All’ is also dark but beautiful, with an ending that made me check if my earphones were working. They were, it was just an effect of the song, and while I was thrown off originally, I think it works well.
The albums themes and lyrics paint an incredibly dark picture, but not in the way you’d expect. The album is disconcerting and moody, and the music helps to carry this sound along. In this way, the band don’t have to spell out how they’re trying to make you feel in each song, because the music is already taking you there. And when the music alone is conveying the mood, it means the album works! Of course by this point, that is abundantly clear. Citizen have gone even further with this album, and it has come off fantastically.
Best songs: Jet, The Middle Of It All, Fever Days