Citizen

Citizen

Sorority Noise, The Hotelier, Oso Oso, Great Grandpa, Alex Napping

Thu, November 9, 2017

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm

$21

Citizen
Citizen
Citizen’s As You Please reports from ground zero of an epidemic. Two years removed from their previous Run For Cover LP, Everybody Is Going To Heaven, Citizen’s perspective is far less sublime. As You Please is a confrontational record, incapable of turning a blind eye toward the inescapable strife. And so, songwriter Mat Kerekes pursues the source of discontent that is ravaging his friends, his family, and his Rust Belt city of Toledo, Ohio with the band’s most dynamic record to date.

On As You Please the epidemic is bigger than addiction and overdoses. There is no longer a Dream to be pursued for the friends and family surrounding Citizen. The band explores that absence and the misguided ways in which it gets filled. On opener “Jet” the kids move slow and there’s a stranger living in the narrator’s home. Both are Kerekes’ discreet way of expressing the wreckage of widespread opiate addiction. “In The Middle Of It All” might be Citizen at their most hopeful, but it also reads as agonizing expression of the ruin in the Heartland.

As You Please also showcases the growing versatility of a band seven years deep and still restless. Citizen has fully outgrown the pop punk, but also refuses to brood in post-hardcore dirges. Written over the course of a year, the record is devoid of the brutish and sinister elements found on Everybody Is Going To Heaven. Here, Citizen go beyond the grunge to shoegaze contrasts and strive for something benevolent.

There’s a spiritual core to the record that manifests in subtle ways like the ethereal vocals echoing in the breakdown of “Control,” the droning organs on “You Are A Star” or the almost operatic refrain on “In The Middle Of It All.” The finespun ways in which Citizen has written this record mark a cataclysmic breakthrough for the band. There is damage and disarray in the band member’s daily lives, but within this record all the pieces have been restored in an ornate arrangement befitting a stained glass mosaic.

In the end, As You Please tries to give strength to those in need. There are illitic factors that control, but Citizen has written a guiding light of an album out of the debris. It concludes with “You Are A Star” and “Flowerchild;” one an unstable request of confidence set to soaring progressions, the other a blistering finale that subverts expectation. As You Please might read as meek, but it represents Citizen in its most confident and expansive state.
Sorority Noise
Sorority Noise
“I don’t want to be in an emo band anymore,” proclaims SORORITY NOISE frontman Cameron Boucher. “But I have no problem with people calling us that, because in the strictest of senses, we are an emotionally driven band.”

That, is Sorority Noise in a nutshell: part of a movement, but also discrete and determined to break free from the pack. Truth be told, the Connecticut-based quartet—Boucher, guitarist/vocalist Adam “Scuff” Ackerman, bassist/vocalist Ryan McKenna and drummer Charlie Singer—have always operated a little differently than most of their peers.

For starters, Boucher attended the University of Hartford for jazz saxophone, while guitarist Ackerman studies acoustics and upright bass. But it’s not just their unorthodox musical chops that set the band apart in the underground punk scene. With the release of their Topshelf Records debut, JOY, DEPARTED, Sorority Noise—recently named one of the 100 Bands You Need to Know in 2015 by Alternative Press—are poised to break out in a big way.

Joy, Departed is more than just the best iteration of Sorority Noise to date; the album also marks a creative shift for Boucher, who draws musical influence from a diverse crop of acts spanning Regina Spektor and jazz trumpeter Chet Baker to The Smiths and Broken Social Scene—and previously spent time fronting screamo band Old Gray. In some ways, the singer says he approached the creative process like writing his very first album.

Boucher started Sorority Noise in late 2013 with friends as an outlet to explore musical styles outside his work in Old Gray. The group then recruited Ackerman and issued their debut full-length, Forgettable, in May 2014. Much buzz—and tours with rising stars Modern Baseball and The Hotelier—followed, as did a split 7” with Somos and the arrivals of Singer (whom Boucher had played with in Old Gray) and McKenna.

Outside of pure proficiency, one of the more gripping elements of Sorority Noise's musical direction is the band’s willingness to speak of personal hardships, including the often-taboo topic of addiction on songs like the heart-wrenching album-closer “When I See You (Timberwolf).”

"There’s so many people having drug problems—and a lot of bands who play it safe and don’t want to talk about it,” Boucher explains. “I think it’s important to be shown in modern music. I like to be honest about my past and talk about things that have had me down. As a lyricist, you are responsible for the people who care about your music.”

That’s ultimately what makes Joy, Departed such an important album: It’s life, warts and all, sung by someone who’s been through it firsthand. It’s not always rosy, but it’s real. Above all, it’s an album meant to be experienced as a body of work—not single songs plucked piecemeal or shuffled on a streaming service. And for Boucher, he hopes it will show critics and fans alike Sorority Noise has something to say, something he’s willing to say as loudly as they’ll let him.
The Hotelier
The Hotelier
Emo band based in Worcester, MA.
Oso Oso
Oso Oso
If punk-rock is a response to anything, it’s pop—music, culture, that which is mass produced and consumed—which is why their combination requires such a delicate balance. With State Lines, singer and guitarist Jade Lilitri successfully maneuvered the two simultaneously; the band’s brand of fuzz and bounce, bite and fun, found its stride just before it fizzled out. Jade does more than maintain balance under a new name, Oso Oso seems to extend his capacity in both domains. Indeed, the songs that make up his first full-length Real Stories of True People Who Kind of Looked Like Monsters feel equal parts coarse and tangled and inescapable. “Wet Grass,” which begins with thudding toms and guitars that chirp like jungle birds, builds into a chorus thickened with muscular chords and layers of vocals. Jade’s melody on tracks like this and “This Must Be a Place” seem instantly hummable—the sort that coax the listener to swim through the thrumming chords and ride the adjacent harmony, if not sing alongside him. Even his bold, buzzing voice seems to express the album’s duality—it cuts through the italicized guitars on “Another Night,” surfs the wake of “This Must Be an Entrance,” hops on “Where You’ve Been Hiding’s” pins and needles, and maintains a confident melody throughout. Thankfully, Real Stories never becomes too pop or too punk, and never stumbles into pop-punk’s shiftless landscape. Instead, Oso Oso sets pop against punk, lets them tear into each other until the result is as ragged as it is anthemic.
Great Grandpa
Great Grandpa
Great Grandpa began in Seattle in 2014 when guitarist & vocalist Patrick Goodwin recruited bassist Carrie Miller, drummer Cam LaFlam, and vocalist Alex Menne to form a humble rock band. Inspired by the pop-sensible alternative rock of the 90's, and offset by a mutual love for noise and math rock, the group set forth to write and record their first EP.

During recording, guitarist Dylan Hanwright joined the group, solidifying the lineup. Great Grandpa began performing in the Seattle area in late 2014, frequenting the city's DIY venues. In March of 2015, their debut EP Can Opener was released on Broken World Media. The EP was met with considerable praise, and has been described as "warm, slightly off-kilter grunge pop", and "knotty, twisted, and warm rock music that's as melodically satisfying as it is, at times, confounding."

Great Grandpa began writing their debut LP soon after, and found themselves touring the western US and performing extensively in the Seattle area. Written in 2015 and 2016, Great Grandpa's debut LP Plastic Cough continues to explore the sonic territory visited in Can Opener, exhibiting infectious melodies across a range of backdrops, from quiet bedroom-pop to explosive, anthemic rock. Plastic Cough is out July 7th via Double Double Whammy.
Alex Napping
Alex Napping
Austin-based quartet Alex Napping draws from the deeply personal and the sonically groovy to create storytelling with a beat. Founded in 2013, the group includes lead singer and guitarist Alex Cohen, guitarist Adrian Sebastian Haynes, bassist Tomás Garcia-olano, and drummer Andrew Stevens.

In 2014, the band released their debut album, This Is Not A Bedroom, on Punctum Records. With a guitar-focused sound, this first release reflects nostalgia for early romance and self-discovery, drawing from collective conversations about youth and its limitations. As an expansion of the themes found in Bedroom, Alex Napping released Trembles Part I & II in 2016, a pair of expressive singles hinging on a short story composed by Cohen. Trembles caught the ear of both NPR and BBC Radio 1, earning featured spots on their respective SXSW coverage. Mise En Place, the band's upcoming sophomore full-length, weaves together the uncertainty of adulthood with a personal desire to establish existential structure. It also marks the band's first release with San Francisco-based Father/Daughter Records. Revolving around a formative relationship, this album tells the story of Cohen's conflicting roles as both person and partner while highlighting a sophisticated, dimensional sound from the band at large. In Mise En Place, arrangements take center stage, overwhelming the guitar-centric sound that had dominated their early releases. This new band dynamic comes together articulately in the album's lead single, Living Room. Moody and honest, with tracks that express both joy and isolation, Mise En Place explores the struggle to evade traditionalism, define personal success, and balance the expectations of love.

Mise En Place comes out on Father/Daughter Records on May 5th, 2017. You can find the band somewhere between Austin and New York City.
Venue Information:
Trees
2709 Elm Street
Dallas, TX, 75226
http://treesdallas.com/