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Album Review: Citizen/The Fragile Season - The Only Place I Know Split EP

Everybody likes a good reminisce, these two bands especially, it seems. On this six-track collaboration, both are harking back to sounds of the early 2000's US scene that grew up around labels such as Drive Thru and Victory.

Citizen take their cues from the early offerings of bands such The Early November and the Movielife; it’s uncomplicated, rather wistful guitar-driven pop-rock. The fuzzy guitars and chugging verse sections are accompanied by frequent gang-vocal refrains, which are honestly delivered but feel a little hackneyed. Opener ‘Fremont’ heads down a well-trodden emotive path before giving way to the bitter-sweet ‘Walking Disaster’ which is the best song of the three here. Final song ‘Common Weather’ is similarly fine but it’s a little uninspiring.

The Fragile Season meanwhile try to find common ground between later Brand New and early Taking Back Sunday, sprinkled with a pinch of Explosions in the Sky and a dash of Hot Water Music. Second track ‘Mediumship’ is the choice offering here, being both more melodic than (still enjoyable) first song ‘Fathers Pride’ and more pleasingly up-tempo than the rather dull and plodding ‘The Night You Showed Me Hallelujah'. Overall they are perhaps the more interesting of the two bands but there’s not a lot in it.

When it comes down to it, these are songs that sound as if they could well have been recorded 10 years ago. That is, in itself, not as much of a criticism as it may first appear as the record will find certainly find fans in listeners who grew up in the ‘pre-emo-as-a-derogatory-term’ era. Who knows, they may even find a decent reception in a younger audience who don’t remember those halcyon days as well. The honesty of the sentiments and compositions serve them well but it’s not a ‘now’ sound.

It’s all been done before, and better, but there is merit here and if you identify with any of the aforementioned then 'The Only Place I Know' is worth checking out.


'The Only Place I Know Split EP' by Citizen.The Fragile Season is available now on Either/Or Records.

Citizen on Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp

The Fragile Season on Twitter and Bandcamp

Nick Worpole

Alter The Press!