Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Review: Citizen 16 - 'Temptation'


Harsh ebm / futurepop crossover act Citizen 16 mark their début on Juggernaut Music Group with the 'Temptation' EP. It may sound like an obvious juxtaposition, but the duo of Wolf Neve and NeutrenoP have worked hard to put their own spin on these sounds. Featuring both harsh and theatrical vocals, accompanied by big synth backings and strong dance beats, it makes for interesting, but rewarding listening.

Songs such as 'Temptation', 'Can't Stop Time', 'Angelificatum', and 'Fashion Boy' blend the harsh vocals of terror-ebm, the synth melodies of futurepop, the melancholic clean vocals of electro-goth, and the rhythms of ebm to create tracks that would hold up well both on the dance floor as well as on the stage. While the likes of 'My Friend', 'That Night' and 'Lies Within Beauty' see the clean vocals more dominant to give the songs a straighter futurepop style that will appeal to purists.

Two of the strongest songs on the album though, are the sublime pop-orientated 'M80' (featuring IIOIOIOII) and 'Leaving', which both feature different but more traditional pop vocal contributions to compliment Wolf Neve's theatrical style.

In terms of production, this is ultimately quite a solid offering that has a strong punchy attack and nice bass-heavy core to it. The only criticism is that occasionally the vocals don't seem to quite fit in the mix as well as they should.

'Temptation' is an interesting EP that plays with genre conventions in a subtle but effective way in order to offer something recognisable, but still a bit different. It may note be to everyone's taste, but there is no denying that if Citizen 16 can keep pulling the tricks from up their sleeves they could carve a big niche for themselves. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, and what they will bring to the table for a full-length outing.  

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