Proving a fascinating proposition to mull over, Curtain Call is a release which at times simply blows ears and thoughts away and in other moments still has them fully engaged just without that extra excitement. The debut album from Italian melodic rockers The Citizen, the ten track encounter as a whole though is a thoroughly enjoyable weave of anthemic rhythms, impassioned vocals, and blazing melodies which suggests that this is a band to make major creative statements ahead.
Hailing from Salerno, the quartet of brothers Franco (bass and backing vocals) and Ciro ‘Ace’ Amoroso (vocals, guitar, synthesizers), Noam Radetich (guitar, piano, synthesizers), and Roberto Coscia (drums, percussion) seemingly draw on inspirations from the likes of Cold Play, Muse, Pink Floyd, and The Police for their own mix of melodic/alternative rock. Equally though, there is an air of bands like R.E.M. and 30 Seconds to Mars in their tone and creative touch. They are flavours bringing a spicy essence to the band’s highly anticipated first album, an enthusiasm sparked by a self-titled EP and the release of a couple of videos, the one for the album’s title track alone seeing 50000 views come its way in just a few days. Now released via My Kingdom Music, one of many suitors for its release, Curtain Call is in line to awaken even keener widespread attention upon the band. It might not be a full introduction to The Citizen that will set the world alight but it is certainly one destined to spark a hungry appetite for more of their sparkling sound.
After an intriguing and potent enough opening through the brief welcome of Intro, the album gets down to exciting ears with System Zero. From its first breath guitars are spinning a melodic and spicy web of melodies quickly reinforced by the expressive tones of Ace and the potent calls of the band. Riffs and hooks have a pop punk infectiousness whilst rhythms roam across its magnetic landscape with commanding and heavily persuasive energy. It is a great rousing start to the album, a song brimming with ideas and anthemic tendencies which has ears and emotions eager for a feisty adventure.
The album’s title track follows and with an endearing melodic luring and again thumping beats it too gets off to an attention grabbing start. This is a mellower proposition though, and whilst the rhythms especially from Coscia provide a constantly imposing incitement, vocals and harmonies alongside evocative melodies wrap around ears with gentler tempting. It does have the dramatic qualities of its predecessor, rising crescendos of energy and emotion bringing a more volatile climate to the song’s provocative canvas and expression.
Panic Attack comes next and it too explores an overall less fiery energy but similarly as the last song, expels moments of creative and emotional intensity which brings the track alive. For personal tastes they are definitely needed as the song lacks the ‘snarl’ of the previous pair until those eruptions, and if there is any ‘negative’ of the whole release it is just that, its calmer reflective parts lacking the impressively alluring bite and compelling theatre of the explosive twists and almost raging ideation around them.
The emotive and sonic shimmer of You And I embraces the senses straight after, a breath of Americana not for the first or last time on the album emerging and bringing more variety to the colour of the album. It is just one scent in the enticing bloom of provocative balladry, a bluesy air wrapping the great guitar invention alongside the tenacious alternative rock hues of Michael Stipe and co. The song holds ears and attention firmly as does its successors This Time and Relax. The first of the two has a similar croon like enticement to the last track, vocals and melodies washing gently over ears as a sonic incitement is cast by guitar. Both songs also have a pungent rhythmic incitement which sparks greater emotional arousal but in the excellent This Time it also seems to ignite every aspect of the track to explore new creative and passion fuelled drama. Relax is bred from the same template but cannot quite find the same rigorously impact despite a blaze of enterprise from the guitar which just sizzles in the ear.
The elegant emotional reflection of Something Left with its piano lead keeps ears and thoughts satisfied next before The Way You Change provides a stirring proposal again loaded with rigorously stimulating rhythms and intoxicating emotional power matched by melodic and sonic endeavour. With just the brief instrumental Outro to end things, the track is the true climax to the album and a song which rings across the senses and lingers in the emotions.
It is a fine end to a great first major offering from The Citizen, an album which provides a potent base for the band to explode from. That is something easy to expect, an assumption that the band will write and create even bigger, more dramatic and inspiring adventures easy to nurture, and that is many ways even outshines Curtain Call in excitement.
Curtain Call is available on CD and digitally now via My Kingdom Music @ http://mykingdommusic.bigcartel.com/product/the-citizen-curtain-call-cd
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