Andy Mogg (vocals/guitar), Tom Adams (guitar), Colin Abernethy (bass) and Duncan Monteith-Hodge (drums) are Citizen9. The band from the UK plays a familiar brand of rock that has most of its roots in ’90s alternative. On their EP The Flood they keep it simple sticking to 4/4 time signatures, palatable melodies and not many effects besides some distortion and reverb.
They open with “Redefine” which is a straightforward alternative rock song. The melodies are easy to enjoy and the production was solid but the song wasn’t particularly challenging and relies on tropes which go back decades. The lyrics were a little harder to pin down. I liked the ambiguity. He sings, “Flicker of retinas that show an image of utopia. Glory as I feel it take effect. Ride upon euphoria.”
Up next is “Paradigm” which felt a little more dynamic. At times the vocalist reminded me of Maynard James Keenan from Tool in that he pronounced certain words. That being said the music isn't nearly as heavy as Tool. The music actually sounded a little closer to Tool on the very next song “Susurrus.”
They close with the title track which felt like the highlight to me because of the vocals. The wah effect felt a bit dated but the band probably still does rockin’ out at their best has some resemblance to Rage Against The Machine.
Citizen9 started as a cover band and decided to move over to original material. That’s a solid move but to be perfectly blunt the songs still sound very influenced. I’m not saying the songs weren’t well written but I wasn't getting a clear picture of what was distinct about the band The good news is they don't sound like any one specific band but they do have a very general sound.
Citizen9 has talent as musicians and songwriter but they are going to have to dig a little deeper to find a signature sound. This is something I hear quite often when cover bands make the leap to original material.
Overall, I enjoyed the songs and the band’s energy. I hope to hear more soon and wish them luck in evolving to the next stage of their development.
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