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Citizen – Youth

Becci Stanley

Triangle

Since their formation it’s been quite a ride for Citizen; from their humble beginnings playing small local bars to festivals over the world and amassing more than a hundred thousand fans across the board on social networking sites and continue to climb higher and higher. Arguably, the release that propelled them from garage kings to stage heroes is Youth, with its mix of raw punk styling’s diluted with melodic interludes creating an aural sensation that is hard to match.

The album kicks off with visceral track Roam The Room storming to attention with a swelling introduction with crashing drums and racing guitars leading to a crescendo that delves into echoing vocals and psychedelic, metallic chords that is heavily reminiscent of the 90s grunge scene, accompanied with gritty, shouting vocals. This swings into slow and brooding Figure You Out slowing the pace right down to a funeral dirge with spine chilling, bitter vocals exploring deep and dark territory. Even slower and slightly lighter, Summer and Sleep experiment with the unnerving juxtaposition of slightly disturbing pent up angst splashed against a calm and controlled musical background boasting razor sharp guitar hooks and spine-tingling cymbal crashes breaking through even the harshest of lyrics.

The Night I Drove Alone is my personal highlight of this release, the lyrics are so unrefined and personal as if they have been ripped straight from the heart and bared to you personally, it creates a haunting and personal experience with the track, heightened by the simplistic chords that sound loudly then suddenly stop leaving a deafening silence in their space.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Your Head Got Misplaced is an upbeat song boasting pop punk credentials of sunny beats, soaring chords and actual singing, whilst still remaining creepy and kooky as is Citizen with echoing gang vocals like bats out of hell.

Drawn Out ends the release as it began, with a ballzy intro that rises suddenly and slows right down on the lyric ‘slow down’ and boasts a chugging bass line that makes the heart race before plummeting into a frenzy of fretting and bashing at the bass drum. It covers every base the album has; from punk vocals, lucid echoing effects, a grunge tempo and an ever changing pace as the track develops in a strange and unexpected way, much like the band themselves.

It’s hard to make such clashing genres work within a release, but Citizen have not only managed to make it work, but have made it sound truly compelling. I look forward to seeing where 2014 will take Citizen, and what other phenomenal releases they will put forward in the coming years.