Review Summary: ’70s occult rock abiding citizens.
The most important dates in the lives of some people, are the days they met someone special, someone they could spend the rest of their lives with. The relationships established by these people are more and more important, as they take place in a world where cynicism and temptation linger in every step of the way, a world where people are increasingly prompted to act as individuals and not as part of something bigger, like a family. Moreover, if these relationships are further fueled by additional attributes, for example, a mutual interest in arts, they tend to become even more passionate and intriguing.
The mutual life of Cincinnati OH residents Ross and Laura Dolan dates back to their high school days, and so does their passion for rock that came out in the ‘60s and the ‘70s. While the Dolans paid their homage to ‘60s rock with previous outfits, they felt the need to lay their own rendition on occult ‘70s rock and outfits such as Pentagram and Black Sabbath. In doing so, the couple scouted the local scene for quite a while, and recruited some of its most promising musicians. In their final form, Electric Citizen wrote and practised together for a round year before releasing their debut album Sateen
, a great occult ‘70s rock retrospective.
To be quite honest, Pentagram and Black Sabbath are not the only cited references in Electric Citizen’s first full length offering. The straight up, hard/heavy rock character of most of the numbers in Sateen
hints additionally at Jethro Tull, when they were merely a solid hard rock band with perceivable, but underdeveloped progressive rock tendencies. The Tull reference holds also because of the keyboards, which sound like a faint flute playing on the background, on not too few occasions. While this is legitimately odd, it adds an additional and rather unexpected degree of freedom to what Electric Citizen are offering on Sateen
. As attractive as the album sounds as a whole though, one cannot help but notice that the structure of most songs is based on the exact same “linear” formula of evolution, at the expense of diversity (more) and the replay merit (less). The exception that justifies the rule is the wonderful psychedelic opus “Hawk Nightingale”, which stands easily among the best songs of the album.
The rhythm section of Nate Wagner and Nick Vogelpohl is as stiff and boogie-oriented as circumstances dictate, whereas the guitars of Ross Dolan reveal the talent of a seasoned rock musician who seems to be pursuing his musical endeavours as part of the “wrong” era. Apart from the previously mentioned "faint flute" patent, the keyboards of Yusef Quotah are fairly diverse while adopting the right kind of background sonicscapes for each song. Last but not least, the vocals of Laura Dolan are exactly what the hard rock vibes of the record call for, whereas they sound enticingly "lysergic" at the (unfortunately!) few sites where psychedelia prevails. If external references should be given with respect to her vocals, it would be safe to say that she stands on the same level with Jex Thoth and Jinx Dawson from Coven.
In conclusion, Electric Citizen have made a great start for themselves with Sateen
, and it is fair to say that we will hear more from Electric Citizen in the future. After all, it’s all a matter of solid foundations and the band is certainly blessed in that sector.