If you thought Citizen would do anything to meet anyone’s expectation after the release of their debut record Youth, which allowed them to earn a wider audience, think again. Everybody Is Going To Heaven, their second LP released in June through Run For Cover Records, may surprise a lot of people as it rather deviates from their previous sound. With these 10 new songs, it appears that Citizen has changed. And in that change comes growth.
‘Cement’ opens the record in the best possible way and brings a grungy distorted tune with a catchy chorus that sounds immediately appealing. It certainly resonates much more heavy and powerful than their previous work. ‘Numb Yourself’ appears to be one of the strongest tracks of a record that seems already filled with tension and introspection. Dark melodies and vigorous outbursts (‘My Favourite Color’, ‘Stain’, ‘Ten’) finely alternate with subtle low-tempo jams (‘Heaviside’, ‘Yellow Love’) and the fact that they successfully found the balance between brighter moments and heavier songs make the entire record fairly captivating.
The rhythm section demonstrates solid foundations and perfectly matches with Mat Kerekes haunting vocals. Everybody Is Going To Heaven reveals at times both cold atmospheres (‘Weave Me (Into Yr Sin)’) and warmer instants (‘Ring of Chain’), which is really enjoyable. Props to the production and Will Yip, who seems to be THE guy to work with if you want to push your sound forward and distance yourself from your previous material.
Many have already pointed out the fact but their 90s alt-rock sound infused with punk elements does certainly recall Brand New in many aspects. Sure, a few moments might sound quite average compared to the recent wave of dissonant indie/grunge revivalists such as Basement or Superheaven but it really takes time to grow on you. Comparisons aside, it’s a demanding work that should not be judged too quickly. The boys demonstrate serious songwriting and overall it’s a nice change of pace. Bitterness, melancholy, intensity, it all blends together.
Everybody Is Going To Heaven is a compact record, both ambitious and challenging that puts aside trivial pop-punk structures to propose a dense and coherent work. It’s less accessible but it’s definitely more mature and it proves that Citizen is not stagnating at all. While it takes a great deal of time to really get into the entire record, in the end, satisfaction prevails. Risks were taken and that’s never a bad thing. If you can get past the fact that it doesn’t sound like their previous work anymore (even though it’s not drastically different), you’ll find a record that showcases much strength. Citizen forges its own identity and it genuinely works well.
They will soon come to Europe for the first time and bring Turnover along for the ride. Do not miss them.
Track list – Everybody Is Going To Heaven:
02. Dive Into My Sun
03. Numb Yourself
05. My Favorite Color
06. Weave Me (Into Yr Sin)
09. Yellow Love
10. Ring of Chain