ARTIST: The Citradels
RELEASE: Are They Still Here?
RELEASE DATE: 02/02/16
RECORD COMPANY: Psychic Ric Records
Melbourne’s psych rockers The Citradels are little known on this side of the world, unless you happen to follow the sort of blogs that specialize in this music. Therefore they are underappreciated, and it follows that I should review them to spread the word. I first heard of them through The Primal Music Blog, though they would also fit in great over at The Active Listener. Their music delves into the droning, feedback drenched genre of music already staked out by JAMC and BJM. In honesty, all music has been done before, it’s the package and delivery that count. And The Citradels deliver it in spades! Recorded in under a week in an abandoned butter factory in Victoria, Australia, it is clear the band worked hard and sweated blood to get this done. In fact, their work ethic has led to six releases in three years, and there’s no sign they’re slowing down.
Opening song ‘Colour Cue’ has all the hallmarks of psych music meant to be played at maximum volume, with wailing vocals courtesy of Tom De Vries and loud fuzzed out guitars. ‘Honey’ has cool organ alternating with spacey guitars and drugged out vocals. ‘Incense and Pepperspray’ (love the play on words) is a romp compared to its two predecessors, kicking things up into tripped out orbit and even veering close to Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd territory (think “See Emily Play”). I appreciate anyone who disses Mike Love, and ‘No Love for (Mike) Love’ does exactly that in its title, though the music is more standard fare, quite similar to BJM’s usual brand of droning psych. And then there’s the hopped up energy of ‘Anchor’, which is one of the album’s high points. They really bring it here, and it’s quite possibly my favorite track on this album. I love the slow, meandering vocals warring with the storming guitars, plus the announcer at the end.
‘Deadbeat’ opts for a slower, dreamier approach, and it’s carefully constructed of many musical layers, while ‘Too Easy To Be Too Hard’ returns to the trippier material this group excels at, and even features a harmonica toward the last quarter of the song. ‘Big City Lights’ has heavily reverbed vocals and is a dreamy pastiche of almost soothing sounds. Closer ‘When the Train Moves Slow’ kicks it up a notch, and finishes the album off in fine fashion. In summary, this is another cool release from a psych band more people should be hearing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Music has always been a driving force for Elizabeth Klisiewicz, which she days “continues to define my existence”. During and after her college years, she ran a weekly radio show at WMUA FM Radio and also at a community station in Springfield, MA, in addition to writing music and concert reviews for the college newspaper. At present, she writes for The Big Takeover Magazine and The Active Listener Blog, and recently began producing a semi-regular Mixcloud-based show called The Kitchen Sink. In the real world, when not writing technical manuals, she gets her thrills from reading mysteries, birdwatching, and can always be found with a camera and a maxed-out storage card full of music.