Saturday, 1 October 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Electric Citizen - "Higher Time"

By: Jake Wallace

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 13/05/2016
Label: Riding Easy Records






‘Higher Time’ is a sincere reflection of a band that has been dedicated to having their own bespoke brand of ‘70s psychedelic rock. Driving riffs, solid rhythms, flawless vocals and explosive solos, this album is a superb follow-up to their debut release and shows how far the band have come since then. They have made this style of music appealing and popular in the modern day and show no signs of slowing down for the future.


“Higher Time” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Evil
2. Social Phobia
3. Misery Keeper
4. Devils in Passing Time
5. Golden Mean
6. Higher Time
7. Ghost of Me
8. Natural Law
9. Crux
10. Two Hearted Woman

The Review:

Cincinnati 4-piece psych rockers Electric Citizen have released their second record, ‘Higher Time’, on RidingEasy Records as a follow up to their 2014 debut release 'Sateen'. As with the first album, it was recorded at The Diamonds studio in Cincinnati by Brian Olive.

The album kicks off with ‘Evil’ and straight away you can tell why they chose this particular track name. Laura Dolan’s vocals are absolutely fantastic for this style of music and having a husband-wife combination with her husband Ross provides a unique kind of musical connection. The main riff is nice and chuggy and as the vocals blend in with the killer riffs, Laura’s voice is very reminiscent of Jillian Taylor’s vocal work in Philadelphia’s Ruby the Hatchet.

The next track ‘Social Phobia’ is some straight up Sabbathian riffage and the female vocals work incredibly well which makes you wonder what might’ve transpired if Ozzy had been a woman! Around the 2min 40 mark Ross unleashes into a ripping solo with some otherworldly sounds and raw talent oozing from his playing.  Misery Keeper’, has a solid, driving riff throughout with some very interesting sections, drawing influence from a number of directions.

The first band that spring to mind are Dublin’s Mother Mooch who have a strikingly similar style and this combination of ‘70s style heavy rock riffs, psychedelic lyrics and female vocals is proving to be a heavily desired sub-genre of music due to the success of bands such as Ruby the Hatchet, Blood Ceremony and Purson in recent years. Electric Citizen have defined their sound and no matter what they turn their hand to, they are producing top notch psychedelic rock. Tracks 4 and 5 are packed with superb riffs and more soul-searing guitar solos from Ross.

The title track ‘Higher Time’ has a fairly simple structure but the raw power of Laura’s vocals combined with the sonic atmospheres lurking in the backdrop creates a very absorbing environment. After the slightly creepy spoken word interlude in the middle, the riffs wind back in and Ross launches off into another relentless guitar solo. The style of his solos are perfect for this style as it’s not taking away from the music or distracting you with elaborate guitar parts. It all just gels very nicely in a cohesive blend and the instruments all compliment each other as well as complementing Laura’s vocals.

Ghost of Me’ takes the tempo up a notch and they deliver the goods with some thrashing riffs and a slightly ominous tone from the keyboards combined with the entrancing vocals. ‘Natural Law’ is another fine example of how the band have defined their sound and set in stone their vision for both image and musical style. Ross’s solo playing is on fire in this track and his diversity as a rhythm and lead player really shows. ‘Crux’ has that swinging occult rock feel, it’s what I imagine lute players in medieval imbibing emporiums would’ve been playing if they had access to electric guitars, fuzz pedals and amp stacks. The final track ‘Two Hearted Woman’ begins with another master-crafted riff and it seems like Ross Dolan’s barrel of riffs has no end. The organ sounds are great in this track, layering a nice thick spread of sound among the rhythm section. The last section has the same stomping riff ascending up and up into a crescendo and the curtain falls bringing a close to an extremely solid album.

Higher Time’ is a sincere reflection of a band that has been dedicated to having their own bespoke brand of ‘70s psychedelic rock. Driving riffs, solid rhythms, flawless vocals and explosive solos, this album is a superb follow-up to their debut release and shows how far the band have come since then. They have made this style of music appealing and popular in the modern day and show no signs of slowing down for the future.

Higher Time” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook


FFO: Ruby The Hatchet, Blood Ceremony, Purson

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