Electric Citizen honors the proud and precise legacy of early progenitors of metal with a muscular dÃ©but as they opened for 80s icon, The Cult
Of the multitude of bands on the musical horizon, it is rare to be surprised by one which is relatively unknown and yet exhibits both raw talent and maturity in song writing ability. Electric Citizen is one such band.
Electric Citizen formed about a year ago. You would expect such a group to sound awkward or muddled in its composition and vary in musical direction song to song. However, when the band took the stage, Electric Citizen played with an obvious direction and presentation. It is leathery, early period metal in orientation, complete with the vintage instruments, dynamics, and lyrics.
The opening riff and drums of “Beggar’s Need,” also track one on the clean, tight, and impressive dÃ©but album, Sateen, gave a clear picture of where the set was going. The song is straight forward 4/4, guitar, bass, and drums delivered with a vintage flare making clear the influences in their collective … Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Deep Purple.
An influence of Heart can be heard at moments, a sound not often effectively captured, not even by strict adherents who give it a try. Electric Citizen did so leaving the listener captivated from the first tune, riveted with feet glued and heads bobbing along.
If you closed your eyes … you could hear a 1971 version of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward, fronted by a Siouxsie Sioux
Laura Dolan’s vocal cut across the air of the quickly filling theater, accompanied naturally by Ross Dolan on a Gibson SG. They were backed up by a swinging rhythm section comprised of Nick Vogelpohl on bass and Nate Wagner on drums.
The audience consisted largely of aging hipsters who liked the Cult in the 80’s. Heads turned throughout the ten-song set, which featured renditions of material from their dÃ©but full-length album released July 01, 2014, along with others released on a previous EP and single.
Laura Dolan channeled the music physically. The woman trembled and writhed, tossed her hair around in ways not seen since long before the millennium turned. Her performance was consistent throughout, displaying a flair around melodic constructions that swirled above the grinding Gibson. It’s refreshing to see homage and originality from Electric Citizen.
The band proceeded with “Magnetic Man,” “Future Persuasion,” and “Savage,” all of which flow wonderfully as they are in the same order on the album. I love when bands play songs live in the order they are recorded. It demonstrates commitment to a concept rather than to the whimsy of disconnected singles. All of these tracks featured similar nods to the familiar things of the past. If you closed your eyes during the first four tunes, you could hear a 1971 version of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward, fronted by a Siouxsie Sioux.
Following the driving force of the first four songs came “Ghost of Me,” a previously released single, and the unreleased “Octavia.” Both are songs about pleasure, which Dolan delivered to a crescendo.
When the band began to play “The Trap,” the audience was attentive. It was difficult to ignore this group of players with whom the future and past were so profoundly colliding.
The traditional organ sounds in “Burning in Hell” channeled a bit of The Doors, which was icing on the cake. The song also concludes the Sateen album in grand style. “Shallow Water” was a rocker the audience would come to appreciate after they read the lyrics.
“Light Years Beyond” is what ultimately forced me to become acquainted with this band. Fellow musicians will appreciate the open E-chord played at the octave, especially when it includes a C-D run, accompanied by an open hi-hat. This song paid particular homage to the past, as it opens with a riff to Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave.” Dolan’s vocals fit well, being deep in a slightly Debbie Harry style.
If you like newer groups like Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats, Fu Manchu, Wolfmother, Electric Wizard, or even the first two Monster Magnet albums, treat yourself to Electric Citizen’s dÃ©but album, Sateen, and go see them live … they are worth every penny.