erasing clouds

TonyDoug's CD Review: Citified

by tonydoug wright

Citified, Citified (Eskimo Kiss Records, 2005)

The Band: Chris Jackson, Andy Ross and Franklin Kane

The History: Citified, a Greensboro, North Carolina-based band, features ex-members of Lookwell, Push Pull Men and Franklin Kane's Fist. Chris Jackson compiled all of the songs for Citified with the assistance of engineer Jerry Kee (Kingsbury Manx, Mendoza Line and Superchunk).

The Review: When I think of the word "citified" I envision a made-for-TV movie where a young man from a small Southern farming town leaves home for the big city without the blessings of his over-protective father who is unwilling to embrace the lifestyles of "city folk". One day the son returns home from the city and his father looks at him and says something like: "Junior, yer all citified now. The farm will not survive because the big city turned you into some fancy pants sissy boy." In the end the son shows his father that he is still a farm boy and they come to an understanding that farm life and city life are both great and the farm is saved.

Don't let the band name Citified fool you into believing that their music is an uppity urban industrial-electronic experience for indie hipsters living in the warehouse district. Citified's music has its roots in a sound comparable to REM that features some electronic resonance and Chris Jackson's easy-going but distant vocals. All of this is complemented by excellent musicianship.

'Overseas' opens the self-titled release and sets a laid-back mood that is very enjoyable with only a few minor bumps along the way. One slight gripe is the fact that the vocal effects seem to be the same on every song, creating a somewhat repetitive vibe for the album. Another minor gripe is Citified's nine-song release only gives us a brief look at the potential of this band because a majority of the songs are under two minutes and a few of those songs seem to end abruptly. Despite these complaints the Citified self-release is a good beginning for a band with a great deal of possibility.


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