The Citradels are a band of Melbournites who defy time and space. Sitars, handheld shakers, rattlers and rollers, open-D fuzz jams and unstoppable feedback driven 3 guitar odysseys that force unwary listeners to stare deeply into the depths of an infinite nothingness, The Citradels make some of the darkest, most intense drone music I’ve heard in a long time and make The Black Angels look like a pop group. Droned and Rethroned is the latest release from the Geelong five piece, drawing on all the regular spaced out influences from The Velvet Underground to JMC.
Drone music uses the interplay of different musical tones and timbres to create interesting music. In doing so, it fervently avoids things like key changes, melodic riffing or even chord changes in some instances. This means that listening to a drone album is like stepping into a black hole – the lack of chorus-verse-chorus structure makes it impossible to understand fully how long the album has been spinning. After what seemed like an hour of listening time, I realised that I had only reached track three – about 15 minutes into the album.
The first highlight on the LP comes in at track three in the form of Chrysalis, a simple, repetitive love letter to Lou Reed, shoved in between some pretty intensely noisy fizzling guitar drone. About halfway through the album, the mood shifts to a slightly more musical colour – the track All Things marking this change with a heavy 6 minutes of 80’s style post-punk, proto-shoegaze. Slow, beautiful gems like You Lay Talking and The Sun seem entirely out of place on an album that opens with a 4 minute sitar & fuzz guitar combination, yet the sprawling nature of the album means that you’d probably be too disorientated out to even notice.
Dream of Della closes the epic of an album, returning to the dark themes and hymn-esque vocals of the beginning of the album, this time revisiting the musicality of the entire album in one short mix. By short, I mean 8 minutes. There’s sweet atonal organ licks, some bent, screaming lead guitar and splashy, cymbal heavy percussion – if you TL;DR’ed this album, just listen to Dream of Della – it summarises the entire album pretty perfectly. Then listen to the album.
The band have been launching their LP relentlessly all over the east coast and have already cracked out the 12 string acoustics, the teardrops and the sitars to start production on their fourth album. If you’re into prolific psych jams, check em out and pay some money for their album – lord knows they deserve it.
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