The new Citizen full-length is the best damn rock music I’ve heard in some time. Love the grooves, the heavy bass, the tendency to shout versus scream with just enough of the latter to feel appropriately hardcore. Their debut two years back made quite the splash, but I only really got into the single, “The Summer,” which is a fierce and forceful kissoff:

“I watched you burn and I felt it. 
You’re spitting words like you’re someone else. 
And I watched you run, I was screaming and following you down. 
It seems I’m stuck in the promise you made, I’m counting out.

I don’t want to know, 
I don’t want to know.
If I could catch you once, I’d see you right through.

You said you’d stay, and you promised, I finally see you out. 
Why’d you wait for the summer to chew and spit me out?
I sit awake and wait impatiently. 
The same mistakes are waiting to be made

I don’t want to know, 
I don’t want to know.
 If I could just write you off, I’d see you right through.
~The Summer
Citizen, Youth

Citizen’s second effort- “Everybody Is Going to Heaven” – certainly feels darker and more mature, but with the same channeled rage. The first slowdown on track four, “Heaviside,” showcases their melodic tendencies well, then it’s back to brutal, dark chords and distortion for days.Swapping vocal styles works for this band in so many ways – there’s Manchester-esque emo flavor before screamed choruses, and the variety adds depth to a sound that’s an approachable kind of heavy. I have listened to this record three times today, and the break from maudlin (bless them) songwriters is welcome. This is a powerful collection of ten songs, sure to played excellent live.

“I’ve placed the boards across your windows
I’ve nailed your hands so you can kiss the floor
A blanket suffocates the things you know
Numb yourself, like you did before.”

~Numb Yourself
Citizen, Everybody is Going to Heaven

I love their inclination to hold back – not every song throws down in a bust though they’re more than capable of pulling it off. I listen for that patience, and for when it breaks. I listen for the confident aggression that feels a little more grown than a lot of other bands I seek out when looking for something with bite, and yet remains interesting musically; I listen for those off-center melodies, something that sounds so nu metal and energizing and full. These songs are vivid and harsh, not quite violent but almost there. They’re just enough to power up and power through a messy, busy day with a messy, busy mind.

I am coming clean with myself
My darling, my darling
Now that I’ve shed my skin, you can tell I’m brighter than ever
The flood has washed my bitter design
Polished in every way
I am coming clean into love
I’ll die if you let me
I am coming clean with myself
My darling, my darling
Now that I’ve seen the world through your eyes, I’m brighter than ever before
Bandaging all of me

Selfish me

So bittersweet
A suspicious love for the sake of us
Suit yourself fittingly
My arms are opened up
Suit yourself fittingly
The haze surrounds only us”

~Weave Me (Into yr sin)
Citizen, Everybody is Going to Heaven