Almost two years to the date of the release of their breakthrough album, Citizen return with their highly anticipated follow-up full-length, Everybody is Going to Heaven. Haunting these ten songs is a foreboding, dark atmosphere masterfully crafted by producer Will Yip, and an immediate, intense energy is palpable from even the first grimy seconds of the opener, “Cement.” As with every one of Citizen’s releases, Mat Kerekes’ signature vocal delivery here is a trademark feature, demonstrating the emotional tension that boils over on this release. As cathartic as ever, he duels between a soft croon and a haunting scream, confronting his demons on tracks like “My Favorite Color” echoing the tormented refrain, “my heart still beats for nothing”. And while most of the record is an intense and noisy onslaught, songs like “Heaviside” and “Yellow Love” act as armistices, each aching in reverb-drenched consonance. Everybody is Going to Heaven is a turning point for Citizen: once regarded as newcomers with undeniable potential, the band shows here that they have matured both abruptly and uniquely, with no end to their upward trajectory in sight.
Virginia Beach’s Turnover has never been a band afraid of telling the truth. The emotional honesty poured out over a number of anthemic releases has been a proven formula of success for the band, but on their sophomore LP Peripheral Vision, the band treads into deeper water. Working again with Magnolia producer Will Yip (Title Fight, Circa Survive), Turnover’s latest record shows a band maturing to create their best effort: an ethereal, reverb-drenched soundscape blending elements of hazy dream pop and the delicate emo rock of yesteryear. Songs like “Hello Euphoria” and “Like Slow Disappearing” highlight the new calmer, more subdued approach to songwriting, matched by Austin Getz’s somber, confessional lyrics that echo throughout songs as if his words were haunting every measure. Peripheral Vision solidifies the idea that Turnover is a band with its finger on the pulse of its generation: growing and learning with every release, but never failing to provide a relatable, cathartic experience for anyone listening.
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