Wednesday, June 20, 2018

CD Review //
Citrus Clouds
"Ultra Sound"
(Custom Made Music)

$10 // //

"Ultra Sound" starts right away in a dreamy way.   It's got that feeling of sounding like The Cure but maybe not exactly The Cure and someone more modern covering "Just Like Heaven" (Which I believe Anberlin did best)     While Erick Pineda sings lead on the opening song, "Ocean Eyes", Stacie Huttleston takes over the lead vocals on the next song, "You Loved Me First".     This has a definite -gaze feel to it overall and in many ways you could call it dreamgaze but then there is a darkwave sense to it as well, so if you could somehow combine dreamgaze and darkwave... Is darkgaze a thing? It must be by now.

The guitar work will be what you hear most on these songs, but the drumming of Angelica Pedrego keeping everything together is truly spectacular.    The middle of this CD is a song called "Happy" and first off, props to Citrus Clouds for *not* making this a cover of that song from the Minions movie.   I often times will see song titles and think "Oh, is that a cover?" and in this case I was strongly hoping it wouldn't be.    The song itself is Erick Pineda singing "And I swear, I'm so happy" but it's in this way that would make you think of the goth new wave bands like Morrissey and Joy Divsion.

While it is a strong feat within itself to create music which matches your mood (Singing about how angry you are while the music that goes with it rages, for example) I've always thought it was somehow better to create songs which seemed sad, depressive and yet had upbeat lyrics or vice versa (Because listening to bubblegum pop songs with lyrics about how much you hate your life would be equally as rad I imagine)   Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but based upon the content of these songs on "Ultra Sound" I'm going to kind of guess that I'm not.

"Is This Real?" is an example of why having two vocalists can sometimes work and more importantly how to have two vocalists work together to create a near perfect sound.    As Stacie Huttleston and Erick Pineda sings "Is this real?" they also respond with "I don't know" which will really mess with your sense of reality.     And in that altered sense of reality, the upbeat lyrics with downbeat music continues on "Here Is Where We Are" with the lines "I look up at the sun, I had so much fun / I love everyone".

The final song, "A Dream Of You", is really the most musically heavy song on the CD as sometimes vocals come through but it is mostly just distorted guitars and thundering drums with bass.    It makes for a good final song because some might wonder why they didn't bring this loudness sooner (like perhaps a song to open with rather than close on) but it's something that I feel "Ultra Sound" just builds up to and rather than fading out in a boring way it makes you want to start the whole CD over again which, really, should be the goal of anyone making music.

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