Release Date: Jun 23, 2015
Record label: Run for Cover Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
In most circumstances, it takes a great deal of time for a fledgling band to find their sound and fully come into their own, but as Citizen have proven with their latest offering, Everybody is Going to Heaven, it's not always the case. Progressing rapidly from their early pop punk to 2013's emo-inflected Youth, the five-piece have now found their own unique sonic space with their most recent work. Contrasting eerie, brooding moments with saccharine beauty and raw emotional frailty, Citizen harness specific stylistic traits from heavy alt-rock and grunge circa the late '90s and early '00s, evoking Brand New and the Jesus Lizard, and fuse these elements into something altogether different — and immensely powerful.
Midwestern indie rock outfit Citizen follow up their well-regarded 2012 debut Youth with Everybody Is Going to Heaven, a ten-song set that draws out their complexities and further distances them from their emo and pop-punk beginnings. With their members spread out between the two iconic Rust Belt cities of Detroit and Toledo, Citizen produce a sound as dark and brooding as a late-night drive down the I-75 corridor that separates their hometowns. As with their earlier releases, this record was produced by Will Yip who, earlier in 2015, made similar efforts to usher forward-thinking punk and hardcore-rooted bands into uncharted territory, most notably releases by Turnover and Title Fight.
Citizen's Youth was one of those alternative/grunge revivalist records from 2013 and a record that I enjoyed quite a bit (admittedly in the minority). It stacked up with label-mates such as Basement and Superheaven (known as Daylight back then) and it was a pretty decent combo. They all had solid records out that year which helped distinguish their respective sounds more than any other release in my opinion.