Album Review
Citizen - Young States EP Album Cover

Citizen - Young States EP

Reviewed by
CitizenYoung States EP
Record Label: Either/Or Records
Release Date: September 20, 2011
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Citizen may be the final, glaring piece of proof that I’m in some sort of darkly tinted rut. What they do differently, or even better, than peers like Balance and Composure or Tigers Jaw or even The Republic of Wolves isn’t instantly clear. There are thoughts of revenge and loss and camaraderie – all things we expect from early 20-something’s from bullshit places like Cleveland or Toledo or whatever. Vocalist Matt Kerekes finds more than enough ways to be cathartic, spewing acid-drenched lines like, “I’ve got this kind of hate that I can’t put away.” But rather than hit the tried-and-fucking-worn-down path of female hatred, Young States attacks the stagnation that can result from being in a place where tomorrow is as far away as the big city we crave. Citizen are just some dudes looking for an escape route.

And that’s ok. Even though, on paper at least, I have found my way out of the shitburbs, that is barely the beginning. On opener “Untitled,” over slow-rumbling drums and just-crunchy enough guitar licks, Kerekes belts the line, “I’d like to think we move on and on and on to better things.” Sometimes being stuck somewhere means that your mind is at its most free. There are lots of things separating us from monkeys or whatever, but perhaps the most important is the ability to hope. On the title track, when Kerekes’ gruff yell belts a line like, “Replace tonight with better things / And make my better days,” we remember that keeping our heads up can count for a whole hell of a lot.

At first pass, Young States might sound like the everyday hate-spewing from any indie-punk band. In reality, Citizen have created an album that doesn’t simply look for blame externally. Too often do we hunker down in our rooms, where it’s much too easy to find fault in everybody else. Young States, over basement-dwelling basslines and hazy guitar tones, looks inward. Kerekes spends just as much time explaining where he went wrong, and it’s nothing if not refreshing to hear some young dudes take the blame for the mistakes we all make. Hell, isn’t that what this age is all about? So yeah, fine, things suck sometimes. Things suck a lot. But what Citizen reminded me, is that things will continue to suck until we figure out our part in the negativity. It’s not something we’re all prepared to hear. Fine, no rush. Sometimes it’s just as OK to accept the confusion as it is to explain everything. It’s this sort of Who-Ever-Really-Knows mentality that creeps up in lines like, “This home isn’t home to me / But I’ve never felt more at home.” We’re not exactly sure what’s going on all the time, but closing our eyes and screaming at the top of our lungs won’t fix anything. Screaming along to Young States, however, could do wonders.

Recommended If You Like: Balance and Composure, Such Gold, Tigers Jaw

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
11:51 PM on 12/12/11
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justbradley's Avatar
Fantastic EP, and fantastic review, Blake.
12:56 AM on 12/13/11
Mr. November
I won't fuck us over.
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Mr. November's Avatar
bullshit places like Cleveland or Toledo or whatever
made me laugh

also this ep is great
08:40 AM on 12/13/11
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brandon_260's Avatar
Band is great. Can't wait for their next release.
08:47 AM on 12/13/11
Zack Zarrillo
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Zack Zarrillo's Avatar
This band has great things coming
11:34 AM on 12/13/11
Registered User
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elliottsmithfan's Avatar
2012 will be the year of the ciz
12:00 PM on 12/13/11
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jacobcm's Avatar
Awesome. So happy for my dudes
12:09 PM on 12/13/11
Blake Solomon
We're no saviors.
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Blake Solomon's Avatar
2012 will be the year of the ciz
i could see that happening.
12:41 PM on 12/13/11
~Bagel Enthusiast~
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cowlord's Avatar
Heard this band when they opened up for an off-date on the PPND tour about a month ago. They were fucking awesome. Will check this out.
01:10 PM on 12/13/11
Gandhi On Ice
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Truman122's Avatar
Good review/EP, though I would have liked if you focused on the music a little more.
01:27 PM on 12/13/11
No Closer To Heaven
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Jaytothesyg's Avatar
Hahah bullshit places like Cleveland and Toledo!

Toledo does suck..But love these dudes, I'm sure they're gonna get pretty big in the next year, crowd went crazy for them over the weekend
01:48 PM on 12/13/11
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Nickisonfire's Avatar
Great review, this has been one of my favourite EPs of the year. Great to see these guys sign to MTS.
02:16 PM on 12/13/11
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InaGreendase's Avatar
Good stuff. A little less Wonder Years and Title Fight worship than their prior stuff, but I think a poppier take on The Last Thing You Forget remains a pretty accurate comparison.

What they do differently, or even better, than peers like Balance and Composure or Tigers Jaw or even The Republic of Wolves isn’t instantly clear.

Let's not get silly here, though.
05:07 PM on 12/13/11
i hide behind these ribs of mine
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BIGSALE's Avatar
i'm really diggin this
07:39 PM on 12/13/11
You Will Always Have My Attention
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cscwell107's Avatar
Love this release and I love this band.

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