Everybody's Going To Heaven

Written by: TL on 20/07/2015 20:39:01

When Citizen emerged with their debut album "Youth" back in 2013, they seemed a promising band, as the record made you feel like their songwriting only needed a tiny bit more before they could make something like a "Daisy" (Brand New) or a "Winter Forever" (Seahaven), both of which are of course good records to almost measure up to. Seeing the group perform live, with singer Mat Kerekes delivering the vocals with stoic yet emotive intensity, only furthered the impression: One should look out for these guys, and one has, making note to check out their sophomore "Everybody Is Going To Heaven", which came out roughly a month ago.

Rather than close in on the bands previously referenced however, with the new album Citizen has drifted with the stream of American underground indie/punk bands that have been carving their own peculiar niche lately, building downbeat, introspective and somewhat grungy atmospheres - think Balance And Composure, Title Fight or England's Basement. You hear it already as the album opens with "Cement", laying down a threatening bass line over a mid-tempo beat, yet below a creeping guitar line and lowly chanted lyrics. However, as if to intentionally underplay itself, the song barely changes gear moving into its chorus, and in lieu of a bridge the band simply indulges in some fuzzy feedback before repetitively getting it over with.

It's the kind of start that takes its listener's attention completely for granted, expecting that you show up already willing to descend into bleakness and wallowing alongside the band, and it is symptomatic for the album as a whole, as the mood and pace are indeed kept similar moving through "Dive Into My Sun" and "Numb Yourself". Descriptions like "Morose" and "Lethargic" quickly insist on being attached to the experience, which seems intentional yet none more fascinating for it. Forget about emo's tendency to cry out in desperation or and about any Nirvana-esque, punk-like acting out. The record simply trots ahead, howling and brooding, as if certain resignation is the whole point, and rarely, if ever, soliciting any interest in whatever it is the band are so unhappy about.

At track four, "Heaviside" makes for a change of pace, as the drums retreat to simple rain-like ringing in the back while subdued clean guitar parts embrace under Kerekes' softer singing, and a similar approach lifts "Yellow Love". But even with those pointed out, the recurring impression is that "Everybody Is Going To Heaven" is drab, and is so in the bad way, intentionally or not. It's the kind of record you repeatedly break your concentration on, trying futilely to like it even as it slowly sinks to the bottom of the playlist of whatever albums you're otherwise trying to get into.

Download: Cement, Heaviside, Stain
For The Fans Of: Balance And Composure, Title Fight, Basement, Seahaven

Release date 22.06.2015
Run For Cover Records

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