Longstanding Citizen fans are well versed in accepting change, having witnessed the Toledo, Ohio three-piece traverse from distorted post-hardcore to the comparably pared-back tempo of 2017’s understatedly heavy ‘As You Were’. Four years later, having both wrestled with and freed themselves from the shackles of external influence, the band have landed between the dense atmospherics of what has come before and a newfound desire to seriously up the energy.
‘Life In Your Glass World’ pairs the band’s explorations of life’s struggles with hints of anthemic indie-rock, not least on lead single and mood setter ‘I Want To Kill You’ and the appropriately-titled opener ‘Death Dance Approximately’. It’s easily their most widely palatable sound to date, securing a balance between their ever-present driving force and the album’s more upbeat melodies. ‘Pedestal’ thrives on its pulsating drum beat, making space for the band’s characteristic unrelenting riffs come the chorus, while ‘Blue Sunday’ places Mat Kerekes’ distorted vocals front and centre and embraces a melodic chorus that surpasses much of their prior work.
Climaxing with standout ‘Edge Of The World’ – itself an unfurling of hope in difficult times – ‘Life In Your Glass World’ never shies away from its obvious love for more mainstream-friendly rock, more often than not hitting the mark. The band thrive in their more overt indie moments but lose traction on the likes of the more pedestrian ‘Thin Air’ or the experimental electronics of ‘Fight Beat’. “I hope you learn to love yourself,” Citizen offer in the album’s closing moment, having spent almost half a decade re-evaluating their own influences and defiantly doing things the exact way they want.
As featured in the March 2021 issue of DIY, out now. Scroll down to get your copy.