|Citizen Zero — State of Mind (August 12, 2016)|
Citizen Zero — State of Mind (August 12, 2016)
√ The album has examples of so many different flavours of rock: the balls out rocker (“Lure and Persuade”), the heavy barnstormer (“When The Rain Comes”), the slow and heartfelt ballad (“Home”), and more.
√ “‘Go (Let Me Save You)’ is actually the first song Sammy and I wrote together,” says Citizen Zero’s Josh LeMay. “It happened right after the Sandy Hook tragedy. I was watching the news, and I couldn’t believe how the cameramen were consciously filming crying parents. It was so wrong. Having gone through tragedy, it made me really angry. I had to say something.”
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Album release: August 12, 2016
Record Label: Wind–up Records
Genre: Alternative Rock
01. What a Feeling 4:15
02. Go (Let Me Save You) 4:38
03. Save the Queen 4:09
04. State of Mind 3:16
05. Come Away 4:40
06. Lure and Persuade 3:05
07. Love Let It 4:00
08. Applause and Fame 4:59
09. When the Rain Comes 4:16
10. Bangin’ in the Nails 4:05
11. Home 4:32
√♣ Josh LeMay — Vox
√♣ Sammy Boller — Guitar
√♣ Sam Collins — Bass
√♣ John Dudley — Drums
BY ROBIN ERVOLINA, AUGUST 2, 2016
♣ If you listen to Octane on SiriusXM, you’re no stranger to Citizen Zero. Their first single “Go (Let Me Save You)” off the upcoming State of Mind is on regular rotation. Detroit rockers Josh LeMay (vocals), Sammy Boller (lead guitar), John Dudley (drums) and Sam Collins (bass) have penned a genuine, feel–good offering. It’s an end–of–summer record of top–down, sing-along anthems that stick with you, begging to be shuffled and repeated ad infinitum. This collective of talented musicians have orchestrated a sound that is solidly rock without gimmicks, that feels familiar and comfortable, yet still refreshingly unique. In a sea of same, Citizen Zero succeeds in standing out by doing nothing more than producing great music.
♣ The first track, “What a Feeling,” features a catchy intro and serves as an introduction to LeMay’s soaring vocals, with a range and reach that produces all the feels. He delivers honestly, and with an intense gritty break in his higher register that elevates those damn good lyrics. LeMay maintains his vocal purity throughout State of Mind, especially their second single “Lure & Persuade,” as well as “Applause & Fame,” and my favorite song on this CD, “Love Let It.” This song exemplifies everything I love about Citizen Zero. It is lyrically, vocally, and melodically cohesive and sublime. Says LeMay,
♣ “It’s the most personal to me. When things were really bad, the song was a way to convince ourselves to let our love for what we do overcome everything else. I ended up tattooing ‘Fight to Love’ on myself because everything was a fight to maintain this dream. We thought it would be unacceptable to give up.”
♣ While Citizen Zero describes their sound as a blend of grunge a la Stone Temple Pilots, and bluesy–alt rock in the style of Kings of Leon, it’s in this song, as well as “Come Away” that I most hear influences of Daughtery, Don Henley, and even a little Mr. Mister.
♣ “State of Mind,” “When The Rain Comes,” and “Banging in the Nails” highlight Boller’s straight–up licks tugging at the driving rhythm section of Dudley and Collins. Together, they create a solid wall of sound with all those delicious riffs and leads dancing seamlessly in and out of the melody. Pair that with hooks that go on for days, and you have an unforgettable CD to add to your collection.
♣ State of Mind delivers rock fans an honest collection of well–crafted, catchy songs. ♣ Says LeMay, “I think the best music comes from the most honest place. Being from Detroit, there’s a no fly zone for bullshit. You have to be real, or the people will know. State of Mind is one–hundred percent who we are.” ♣ http://shockwavemagazine.com/
Review by Mosh, JUN 18, 2016
♣ Citizen Zero are a new band to me, and likely you, despite them having been around for five or six years. They’re toured with POD and Highly Suspect, but I highly suspect (see what I did there) that these appearances have been Stateside. The band are from Detroit and they have one previous release, an EP from 2012.
♣ State of Mind is their debut album and there are high hopes for this nicely middle–of–the–road rock act. Sometimes it’s good to know your audience and to play it safe rather than trying to break molds that make perfectly good jellies. Or whatever else you make in molds. Citizen Zero cite such acts as Van Halen, QotSA, GnR and Shinedown as their influences — the kind of bands that have huge popularity for that very reason.
♣ The opener “What a Feeling” has more of an early Foo Fighters vibe to it, though frontman Josh LeMay has a different vocal style compared to that guy who used to play drums for Nirvana. It’s a non–stop driving song that even during its quiet moments seems to be urging you on towards the end. The chorus, though, is belting.
♣ Current single “Go (Let Me Save You)” is a much lighter affair and a surprise choice to publicise the album in my opinion. What is does show is that they’re happy to bounce around inside this genre that we call “rock” and not be tied down to the harder end of the scale. It does grow into something more powerful, but takes a little time to get there whereas “What a Feeling” kicks in from the very start. Both are very good songs, don’t get me wrong, I’d just personally have gone with the former. Having said that, the shred–laden solo towards the end is akin to Slash at his best, though given that it comes from a guitarist who writes a column in Guitar World (Sammy Boller) telling people exactly how to do this kind of thing, he should know his stuff.
♣ “Save The Queen” isn’t a non–denominational version of the UK national anthem. Instead, it’s a rock song with a story; throaty vocals tell of a woman of “gold and silver” who the singer has put on a pedestal. The title track recalls good old–fashioned rock n’ roll of the highest order — fast–paced and catchy with a great “get the audience clapping” break before the first minute is out. It’s songs like this that tell you Citizen Zero are pandering to the live scene.
♣ The album has examples of so many different flavours of rock: the balls out rocker (“Lure and Persuade”), the heavy barnstormer (“When The Rain Comes”), the slow and heartfelt ballad (“Home”), and more.
♣ These days a debut album has to be something special to really stand out from a quickly deepening crowd. Rest assured, State of Mind is something special. Is it the best rock album ever? No, of course not. But given the chance to build on it, Citizen Zero certainly stand a chance of getting close to that with future releases. The talent here is undeniable. Give them a chance — I don’t think you’ll regret it.
♣ Pick of the tracks are “What A Feeling” at one end of the scale and “Home” at the other — coincidentally the first and last tracks. ♣ http://www.moshville.co.uk/
By Justin Bales / Score: 3.4/5
|Citizen Zero — State of Mind (August 12, 2016)|