Review: Citizens – Already / Not Yet EP
One thing that Christian musicians seem fond of is to take old hymns and rework them into a new setting, musically. This allows them to take a familiar melody and make it new, presenting the material in a fresh way rather than rehashing the same arrangement over and over again. Citizens, an indie rock band from Seattle, sets out to do just than on Already / Not Yet. They’ve built up a following through Mars Hill Music based on reworking hymns as high-energy rock songs in the style of bands like Switchfoot or Sonicflood and present a few of them here as a way of introducing themselves to the world.
Mission accomplished guys.
These few tracks are a lot of fun and work very well. “In Tenderness” is the best of the bunch, taking an old hymn and making it into a fun rock song that will likely have any crowd on their feet when played live. “Nothing But the Blood” is morphed into an upbeat piano-rock song that sets itself apart from other versions by drawing more heavily from rock influences while “Oh God” is the lone ballad out of the four, being a stripped down guitar and vocal song that still manages to build in intensity as it goes on. This is also the only original song on the EP but the lyrical style and delivery captures that of old hymns and it doesn’t feel out of place among the other three. It’s a simple and effective way to close out the EP.
If you were a fan of other bands who took this approach in the past, like the first incarnation of Sonicflood, then check these guys out. They’re a talented group that deserves more recognition. They’ve recently released a full album in partnership with Tooth & Nail records to be released digitally, so if you like energetic rock music with lyrics that feature depth and a worship music slant, then these guys have got just what you’re looking for.