Citizens Here & Abroad Waving, Not Drowning

Though there’s a nagging familiarity to the music being presented by this San Francisco-based band, they still know how to ratchet up the noise and tension to make such fears dissipate. This is best heard in "Accelerator,” where the call and response between Chris Groves and Adrienne Robillard above ringing guitars and booming drums reminds of a late ’90s/early ’00s indie scene — Seattle? Portland? — before turning into a different beast altogether at the end. Here, the drums up their intensity and guitars start to layer and it gets beautifully shoegazing. So, the interest is piqued. The good news continues as "Evening News” continues this familiar-yet-new spin as the chorus slays in that a very earnest indie way, while keeping the guitars on the verge of exploding. The way the band play with this tension-and-release is probably the ingredient that makes this album work better than it should. This had the possibility of re-hashing tired barebones indie sounds, but there seems to be a spark here that keeps the songs from going that way. Essentially, just when you think you know what’s going on, they switch directions. A bit dizzying, but at least it ain’t boring. (Turn)