Album Review: Citizen- Calling The Dogs

4/5

Citizen is a band that hasn’t been afraid to experiment with their sound, having been called emo to post-hardcore and everything in between. The band has truly found themselves with Calling The Dogs, the phenomenal followup to 2021’s Life In Your Glass World. The former Toledo three-piece consists of Mat Kerekes on vocals, Nick Hamm on guitar and backing vocals, and Eric Hamm on bass, recently added former touring members drummer Ben Russin and guitarist Mason Mercer to round out the lineup. The album also comes on the heels of the band’s successful ten-year anniversary tour for their highly influential debut album Youth. 

Calling The Dogs is roughly 35 minutes of pure, polished energy with a raw feel to it. The juxtaposition of the upbeat nature of the music and the heavy themes in the lyrical content only adds to that. “Headtrip” starts the album with a garage band feel that reminds one of The Strokes or the Arctic Monkeys. Guitarists Ham and Mercer back vocalist Kerekes while he speaks about self-doubt by belting “I don’t know which way to go / So tell me what I need to know right now.”  

The first single from the album “If You’re Lonely” is an upbeat anthem that speaks on the topic of growing as a person and partner. The message is driven home through the chorus “I know you’ll call me if you’re lonely.” “Lay Low” has the same gruff vocals that Citizen is known for, with Kerekes growling “Why don’t you bang this into your head? / Into your brain, right through your skull / Lay low.” The track ends with distorted noise that feeds perfectly into the next track, “Needs” which keeps the distorted noise going throughout the song.

The album closes with “Takes One To Know One,” which features fast guitars reminiscent of Ramones-era punk. The album seems to end as quickly as it started and leaves you wanting to play it again. Calling The Dogs is Citizen shows the growth the band has experienced and is the band at their best.

Calling The Dogs is out October 6, on Run For Cover records.

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