Look at the Fish
By Rikki O.
Chris Cummings – Vocals and Guitar
Sean Lay – Lead Guitar
Stephen Brink – Bass
Chris Lynn – Drums
Mike Phillips – Percussion, Keys and Guitar
Citizen Icon was formed in 2007 from a virtual stew of talented local musicians, all of whom have paid their dues in various mildly prominent bands around the southeast. Their debut cd, Look at the Fish, is packed with fun, catchy tunes; obviously someone in the band has studied their copy of Pop-Rock for Dummys. All the tracks follow a fairly basic formula, but it’s hard to hate when I’m dancing around in my bunny slippers as I listen. Sean Lay and the boys really strike hard musically; they push around the definition of rock and overlay a boisterous tone palatable to nearly any kind of listener. My only real issue is Chris Cumming’s vocals – dear god, they are so affected as to be cringe-worthy in places. This isn’t to say he doesn’t have a sexy rock star voice reminicent of an early Eddie Vedder – he absolutely does – but if he simply drops all the vocal tricks he must have learned on MTV and just gives it to us from deep inside his guts then each of the tracks would be vastly improved.
The standout track for me by far is Sticks and Bones – imagine those days you wake up feeling fearless and untouchable; you slide on your real or metaphorical black leather jacket and boots and jump on that Harley in your mind. You race to get the girl, you race to mindfuck the American dream, you race to beat death to the finish line. This song is the soundtrack to that day.
Shotgun touched me with it’s vulnerability – it wraps you in the sensation of sleepless nights tossing and turning with flashes of all the what-ifs and disastrous outcomes that live on the edges of dreams. Even if you could stop your mind’s recording, sometimes it’s too onerous a task to even turn over and shut off the lights.
All in all, I look forward to seeing them live, as I hear that is where Citizen Icon really shines. I will bring the bunny slippers.