Across the industry, there seems to be resurgence in old school rock ‘n’ roll and metal—with the best bands riding this wave taking influence from legendary acts, breathing new life into familiar sounds, and creating something they can call their own. Electric Citizen cements itself as another group to add to this list with their 10-track album, Higher Time (released May 13th via RidingEasy Records).
Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Electric Citizen is composed of Laura Dolan (vocalist), Ross Dolan (guitarist), Randy Proctor (bassist), and Nate Wagner (drummer). The band’s first album, Sateen was released to favorable reviews, but the quartet’s sound on Higher Time represents a fuller/more mature sound—improving upon something that was already quite good to begin with. As for the sound itself, Higher Time is like taking Black Sabbath, merging it with The Black Keys (no surprise given the album was mixed with The Black Keys’ engineer, Collin Dupuis), and adding a layer of ‘60s psychedelic rock.
But don’t take my word for it. Instead, give Higher Time’s first track, “Evil” a listen. The perfect preview to what lies ahead, the song starts with a dramatic, organ-backed introduction. Groovy guitars start up just before Laura Dolan begins wailing on the vocals. The jaded chorus itself is addicting with lyrics that seem to question a series of failed relationships with Laura Dolan questioning, “You say you’ve seen it all before / Nothing can ever be the same / Am I too evil?” Add in a spot-on guitar solo and changing tempos (for each “act” of the song), and you’ve got Higher Time in a nutshell.
Third track, “Misery Keeper” stands out as one the harder songs on the album. Here, Laura Dolan’s voice carries emotional weight throughout dark, poetic lyrics, crooning: “I never meant to cause you pain / I only wanted the misery / Locked in the sorrow running through my veins / Oh, misery keeper.” Ross Dolan’s guitar prowess is also on display, as the song breaks for a guitar solo that feels like a continuation of the pain and anguish of the song.
In all, Higher Time is a must-have for fans of retro-rock. A solid album from an exciting band, Electric Citizen has marked itself as a group to keep an eye on in the future.
2. Social Phobia
3. Misery Keeper
4. Devils in Passing Time
5. Golden Mean
6. Higher Time
7. Ghost of Me
8. Natural Law
10. Two Hearted Woman