As autumn approaches, most of us are put in the mindset of witches, ghosts and creepy characters. It is appropriate then that I present the self-titled EP by Electric Citizen.
With the first listen of Electric Citizen, I was transported back in time to an era before cell phones, before digital downloads and, yes kids, before the internet.
As the youngest of five children, when I was little, I did not discover music that wasn’t already filtered through my siblings – whether it was my sister’s copy of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors or my brothers introducing me to Rush’s 2112 when I was just 6 years old.
This was a time when music came out on vinyl and it was precious and just a bit fragile. The cover art was likewise more integral to the total package and the liner notes added yet another dimension to the listening experience.
Appropriately, Electric Citizen has chosen to release this 4-song EP on vinyl.
If I sound overly sentimental, it is because the sound of Electric Citizen is so deeply reminiscent of the power-rock bands of the early 1970’s. It is the sound of an era that purists might consider when ‘real’ heavy metal was forged – when the music was made as a darker reaction against the ‘smile on your brother, come on love one another’ feel-good decade that was the 1960’s.
Recorded and Produced here in town by Brian Olive [Greenhornes, Soledad Brothers] at The Diamonds and Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege in Portland, OR, Electric Citizen’s music harkens back to a time when the seminal work of bands like Back Sabbath, Judas Priest or Iron Maiden danced that gossamer line between deviant behavior and black magic. Likewise, this was when heavy metal music brought to mind imagery of dark deeds and witchcraft, not big hair and spandex.
Electric Citizen manages to capture this energy, revitalize this Frankenstein’s monster and set it loose on the hapless and unsuspecting villagers.
The EP opens with the quiet, creeping approach of "Shallow Water." Laura Dolan’s vocals are haunting and hypnotic, but the song soon opens into a raucous stomping march that is pure dark energy.
"Hawk Nightingale," at just under six minutes, is a twisted, slightly psychedelic, darkly magical expedition.
More than any other, the piece "Magnetic Man" is one that will bring the real metal-heads to their feet. Ross Dolan’s screaming guitar summons the masses while Nick Vogelpohl (bass) and Nate Wagner (drums) rhythmically erect the altar of sacrifice upon which the whole song stands.
The EP closes with "Beggar’s Need," a song that, like all of the pieces on this EP, plays a tantalizing sonic tug-of-war that is somewhere between Heart and Motörhead.
This band is a hell of a lot of fun to listen to and I hope you get a chance to see them live very soon. So get your torches and pitchforks ready, villagers. Electric Citizen will be coming to your town. I suggest you check them out.