Unbalanced post-hardcore rock
Post-hardcore trio, Citizen, released their fourth LP, Life In Your Glass World. Categorized as a rock album, this LP takes many different styles of music within the rock genre. But the emo and punk-like band make their music one thing, memorable.
The band released “I Want to Kill You” earlier this year, a foot-stomping electric track of aggression and a hint of subtlety. This song is vibrant, with a melodic base and additive musical talent to prove the band’s worth. People can hear the continued hi-hat drumming fuse with vocals from Mat Kerekes. Perhaps Kerekes previous drumming made his voice rhythmic, or it was the luck of the editing. “Death Dance Approximately” takes a similar style with its violent rhythm, but with a bit more post-punk.
Citizen’s music is rock without the roll. This album adds a hint of disparity to the rest of their music collection as it combines a more original sound that wasn’t present before. Impressive guitar solos from guitarist Nick Hamm add more color to a dark thematic LP.
They turn the RPMs down in “Blue Sunday,” with an eclectic, almost psychedelic beat for those nighttime drives. Hamm offers a cloaking for the hysterical messages of this song. Talking about isolation and being stagnant in your life, this song’s disguising message offers some reality to this album. “Thin Air” also has a mellowed-out personality, with an added sense of feeling from the emotion in Kerekes vocals. Eric Hamm’s bass riffs are transformative and should be more present throughout the album.
Shimmering guitars offer a similar sound in “Call Your Bluffs,” though this counteracts the content in the more chill tracks. Starting as a rhythmic song and shifting into something more anxious, this track seems to fall short of the rest of the album. Its continued lack of dynamism makes the song too repetitive. “Pedestal” is too repetitive as well, almost carbon-copied of something from the mid-2000s.
“Winter Buds” shouts a downright filthy guitar solo which balances the lighthearted nature of Kerekes vocals. This song is emo, and it combines the antagonistic personality of post-punk music with the muted melody that many songs try to limit. Hamm’s guitar playing is spider-like, shining on the grunginess of Citizen’s repertoire. “Glass World” has a similar emotionality to it, reflecting on the realities of self-realization with an electronic beat. This song lacks the hardcore nature it deserves but doesn’t fail to provide for the album.
“Fight Beat” doesn’t live to its namesake, providing a supernatural feel to a song lacking substance. Aggression falls short as well in “Black and Red,” but its beat picks up its slack. Kerekes’ vocals make for an interesting feeling, but there seems to be a disconnection between the beat and vocals.
“Edge of the World” is the final track. Hamm’s guitar licks fade the album out, solidifying a post-punk vibe in its limited appearance. An echoey distortion to the vocals adds a modernist twist to this rock style, stemming from some of Citizen’s previous songs in their 2017 album As You Please.
While Life In Your Glass World is more rock than punk, it lacks the hostility it deserves. Multiple listens seem to unearth more and more from each track until there is nothing left to reveal. Songs like “I Want to Kill You” and “Death Dance Approximately” have the punk rock aggression which people want out of this music, but without it, it seems to blend in with the divergent rock that has emerged from this decade.