You're What You Wish You Are...

Citizens of Contrary Knowledge

Arbinsongs, 2006

REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


Occasionally, I can listen to too much music. Lately, I've been jumping all over the map listening to the new Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, Pantera, etc. In the middle of all this came the Citizens Of Contrary Knowledge.

I will say this for the band; they made for an excellent palate cleanser. After listening to all sorts of different genres, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 You're What You Wish You Are... was straight-up rock with no strings attached. That made for a pleasant listen at the time, even if most of the music is not very memorable.

It becomes apparent quickly that the members of the Citizens are masters of their instruments. From what I gather, some of the members of the band have played with Joe Walsh and Rick Derringer, masters of the Almighty Riff. That 70s rock style definitely filters into the performances on You're What... keeping with the retro trends that dominate the music industry today.

However, as I've written on this site before, solid playing does not solely a great album make. I can't really complain about tracks like the opener "Complicated" or "Unless You Do," because they certainly don't sound bad. They just lack oomph behind them, and while I kept waiting for the tracks to take off they remained grounded on the runway. For example, I really enjoyed the solos in "House Of Cards," but the song didn't grab me with a strong hook.

Some do step up to the plate. "Brand New Dance" is a great funk/rock song in the vein of a Chili Peppers track; the falsetto vocals are infectious. "Lonely Hearts Society" sports a killer opening riff cut from the AC/DC playbook while also featuring some very impressive harmonies. A few power ballads even join the fun, the best of which being the very heavy "Spread Your Wings." The acoustic/harmony-driven "Friends" captures a real Zeppelin "Battle Of Evermore" feel.

One aspect of indie records that I try to identify is whether or not a band has potential. The Citizens Of Contrary Knowledge definitely have it. Their technical skills are already at the level, but now the rest of the material has to catch up. I foresee an excellent sophomore release.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2006 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Arbinsongs, and is used for informational purposes only.