Surfing the wave of a grunge / emo revival, Citizen is a young group from Ohio who delivers Youth, their first album. After two splits with bands such as Turnover and The Fragile Season, and an EP called Young States, Citizen is now ready to take off with his debut LP: 10 tracks for 30 minutes of fresh and captivating music. With a singular artwork and the affiliation with Run For Cover Records, this album should quickly attract attention.
In terms of sound, Citizen navigates between indie, punk and abrasive grunge elements strongly mixed with 90’s emo influences. The first song ‘Roam the Room’ opens the album in an intense way to immediately captivate the listener. Throughout the songs, there are plenty of signs that make you realize how introspective and melancholic this album is. The atmosphere is noticeably darker and sometimes even downhearted in comparison of the band’s previous material. Songs like ‘The Summer’, ‘The Night I Drove Home Alone’ and ‘Sick and impatient’ allows the band to demonstrate a certain amount of energy while delivering an significant work on guitar textures.
There’s a certain paradox in Citizen’s music and by extension, in the title of this album: The band displays anger and dynamism like only a young punk band could do while showing great maturity and skilfulness in their songwriting. For a band whose members average age is around 20 years, it’s quite impressive. By abandoning the pop-punk vibes present on their previous EP to bring more melancholic atmospheres, the band succeeds in delivering a stunningly crafted album. The recipe is not really ground-breaking (we could compare Youth to the likes of Basement’s Colourmeinkindness or even Title Fight’s Floral Green) but listening to Youth leaves enjoyment, as it doesn’t fall into repetitions. Mixing both contained aggression and emotions with melodic verses seems to be Citizen’s trademark.
Youth is also branded with a strong production, impeccable vocals and certain fluidity between songs. Lyrics go from talking about loneliness to the coming of age and you can feel all the melancholy and honesty in Mat Kerekes’ singular vocals. It is clear that Youth is a refreshing and consistent album that explores a wide range of genres. It is simple but intense, although we could blame a lack of real punchy stand-alone moments and maybe to many similarities with some bands coming from the same scene such as Basement or Balance and Composure.
However, with their catchy melodies, their excellent songwriting and musicianship, with all the emotions that emerge in most of their songs, Citizen clearly passed the test of releasing a first full length that is both surprising and addictive. Another unquestionably proof that Run For Cover Records has the gift to highlight promising young bands. Youth could be the perfect soundtrack to your summer and perhaps more.
Track list – Youth:
1. Roam The Room
2. Figure You Out
3. The Summer
5. How Does It Feel?
6. The Night I Drove Alone
7. Speaking With A Ghost
8. Your Head Got Misplaced
9. Sick And Impatient
10. Drawn Out
Citizen: Facebook / Bandcamp / Order Youth
Written by Alex Tabankia