Citizen have been following a rigid album cycle since their debut in 2013 and their debut record ‘Youth’ came at an ideal time. It was an album for those growing out of pop punk and wanting something a bit more grown up, whilst still wanting to express the same sort of angst. Follow-up ‘Everybody Is Going To Heaven’ further solidified the status of Citizen as flag bearers of a genre that was also enjoying the music of label mates Turnover.
The appetite for ‘As You Please’ started to build when lead single ‘In The Middle Of It All’ was released. With a sampled falsetto intro, it hinted at what Citizen would experiment with on the record. However it’s hard not to feel a touch deflated when the progress shown on the aforementioned song is not really touched upon again. What you do have however, is a record that feels like a direct continuation from their previous effort.
That’s not to say ‘As You Please’ is bad – it isn’t. There are some standout moments to appreciate and enjoy, such as the massive ‘Medicine’ which sounds like Citizen at their finest. The bridge especially inspires you to punch the air with joy at the cacophony of noise filling your ears. There is also the incredible ‘Control’; a song which grabs your attention immediately with an electro tone and heavy drums, before sending you on a four minute ride where it’s genuinely difficult not to be taken in by everything going on in the song. The drum work is imposing and effective, and Nick Hamm and Ryland Oehlers do incredibly well to make two vastly different guitar parts work so well together.
There is a lot of good on ‘As You Please’ that shows that Citizen are still entirely capable of creating a genre defining album, the problem is that the strong parts only makes fleeting appearances. The rest of the record is absolutely fine, but it does kind of just pass you by. Anyone expecting a huge progression on ‘As You Please’ will end up disappointed, whereas those who were happy with the band’s sound on their previous records will arrive at the end feeling satisfied if not thrilled. Overall it feels like a record which will see Citizen through the next couple of years. If in the future they can carry forward what they found on the likes of ‘In The Middle Of It All’ then album number four could be very special.