Citizens Arrest

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Citizens Arrest
Origin New York, United States
Genres Hardcore punk
Years active 1989–1991, 2010
Labels Wardance Records
Vermiform Records
Evacuate Records
Lost & Found Records
Associated acts Our Gang
Hell No
One Sided War
Animal Crackers
Taste of Fear
Antiem
The Manacled
True Colors
Colossus
Born Against
Assuck
Past members Daryl Kahan
Janis Chakars
Joseph Martin
Patrick Winter
Ted Leo

Citizens Arrest is a New York-based band that existed from 1989 to 1991 and reformed in 2010. The group often blended hardcore punk, Grindcore and Powerviolence styles. Their main inspiration in the early days of the band were from Boston area hardcore from the 1980s like DYS and SSD. They also derived influence from early Powerviolence pioneers, Infest

The demo tape was released in early 1989 and featured Ted Leo on vocals and future vocalist Daryl Kahan on drums. The demo tape showed the most direct linkage to Boston area hardcore sound from the 1980s. "Serve and Protect" is arguably their most recognized song to date. It also featured the song "Start Again" which was of a more melodic and emotional sound then they would do in future efforts. They did not play this song often in live shows unless Leo was available to attend. Leo departed shortly after the demo release to attend college at Notre Dame. This initiated the move of Kahan to vocals. In search of a replacement drummer, Kahan turned to friend Patrick Winter who had played in his previous band True Colors. The timing of this move was perfect as well since Winter's current band, Our Gang had broken up the previous month.

The first release by the band, A Light in the Darkness, a 6-song e.p. showed their most direct and raw hardcore approach. This was most apparent by the switch to Kahan's guttural vocal style. Showing a range of melodic high screams and deep tonal growls that became an essential, identifiable part of their sound. Winter brought a hard-hitting straightforward hardcore style to the drums. Janis Chakars guitar seemed more distorted and raw than on the demo release. This was also helped by the production of Don Fury, who had recorded countless hardcore releases and was known for bringing the best energy out of bands during that era. Joseph Martin's pickless bass style served as the pulsating backbone to the rhythm section. The cover of the e.p featured a painting by Caspar David Friedrich "Monastery Graveyard in the Snow". They would continue to use classic art as design elements in future releases. During the same time as the e.p. release, the band released two notable tracks, "Death Threat" and "I Won't Allow" on a compilation record "Look at all the Children Now". This record contained the work of many great bands from the ABC No Rio hardcore scene. This e.p. is commonly regarded to as one of the best hardcore records of the era.

Citizens Arrest went on to play 25 shows all on the East Coast of America as well as one in Canada. They never did any extensive touring. During this time they began writing material for their full-length release, "Colossus". Named after the Francisco Goya mezzotint etching which also graces the front of the album. The Colossus album incorporated much of the intensity in sound as in previous releases but also showed some musical expansion that was not completely embraced by fans. The album touched on a variety of topics. The opener "Utopia", was a masochistic embrace of suicide. "Briviba" was a plea for freedom for the Baltic states by guitarist Chakars, who himself is of Latvian ancestry and tells the story of a family relative of the same name who suffered under the oppression of Soviet colonization. Oddly enough, Latvia's sovereignty was restored in 1991, the same year the song was released. "Number", regarding the inadequate American education system. "Suffer Now", a plodding animal rights effort. "Paper Cuts", a somewhat tongue-in-cheek anti pornography song as well as "Agony God" (a rework of "Grand Mal") which criticized extreme dependence upon religion. Other songs that featured more atmospheric and gothic themes, "Pain", "Burst of Silence" and "Through the Mist" rounded out the album. The variety of material was a result of all 4 members of the band being involved in the writing process lyrically and musically. Shortly after the release of "Colossus", the band found themselves hitting a creative wall and the members all sought out new music outlets. Chakars and Martin formed the progressive hardcore band Hell No, which also marked the return of Leo to the fold on guitar. Chakars and Leo left Hell No a few years later. Leo went on to a notable career recording alternative rock in bands Chisel and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, among others. Martin continued on to play with Hell No for the remainder of its existence. Martin also was a co-vocalist in the band. Kahan and Winter continued on to play in the grindcore band Taste of Fear, as well as thrash metal band Colossus. Winter later played in the short-lived hardcore band One Sided War. Kahan is presently in death metal bands Disma (guitar) and Funebrarum (vocals). Chakars currently works as a professor teaching communications at a small Catholic college in the Philadelphia area.

In June 2010, Citizens Arrest reformed as a 5-piece with all previous members, adding Ted Leo as a second guitarist. They are currently planning shows and have hinted at possibly recording new material.

Members[edit]

Discography[edit]

  • A Light in the Darkness" - 7" (Wardance Records) 1989
  • Look at all the Children Now (2 compilation tracks) - 12" (Evacuate Records) 1989
  • CxA live Flexidisc" - 8" (Rebound Records) 1990
  • BBllleeeaaarrrggg" (compilation track) - 7" 1990
  • Forever" (compilation track) - 7" Irate Records 1990
  • Colossus" - 12" (Wardance Records) 1991
  • "A Light In the Distance" - 12" (Deadalive Records) 2002 *A compilation of previously released material
  • "Soaked in Others Blood" - digital EP - Coexticntion Recordings 2010

Related bands[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • [1] - Official Band Facebook page.
  • [2] Official Wardance Records Facebook page.
  • [3] Coextinction Recordings