the Model Citizens
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the Model Citizens

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"The Model Citizens"

by Jack Yass

The Model Citizens don't care what you think. They have no plan, no goal, and a total lack of responsibility to you. It's pretty obvious if you listen to them, and undeniably clear if you see them live. Within their brief library of work, you will find evidence that they are not masters of their craft by any means. They could be amateurs at their peak, and it's possible they are a quite ordinary four piece rock band. These men are ordinary, almost plain. They show no godly delusions, hold little rock star ambition, and they are obviously not sex symbols or idyllic monuments for teenage boys and girls to worship in their locker-altars.

Their songs almost seem to be a simple reworking of their personal record collections, which comes off as a sort of brief synopsis of the last 50 years of rock and roll. Its as if they've blatantly plagiarized every rock song ever written, and all at once. They clearly did not have a plan when they formed, and certainly set no bounds. There was probably no discussion when they formed of what niche or genre they wanted to hide in. There is little guitar-god-flash within their guitar-driven songs, two note power chords are everywhere, and it seems more that this is likely due to a lack of technical talent rather than an intentional "dumbing it down" for the masses. In an age of over indulgent metal heads, prefabricated pop stars, and artificially powered electronica, they are the unlikely little rock-engine that could... and they reside right here in NW Indiana.

There are traces of many influences, but with a little effort, I've diluted my interpretation of their sound to a few greats: T.Rex, Johnny Thunders, Guided By Voices, and The Beatles. They have the tight, simple, sexy thunder of Marc Bolan's hot vessel; the reckless, raw power of Thunders; and occasionally, if you listen closely to their lyrics, you might find a bit of GBV profoundness buried under zealous power chords and hundreds of “yeahs” and “oohs”. And, yes, I said the Beatles. How utterly boring, you must be thinking, but I make the comparison not because they've managed a modern rework of Sgt. Pepper, but simply because the Model Citizens seem unbound to a single sound or genre, which is what made the Beatles so great.

They've released a demo, and it is deceptive. The first listen might leave you a little underwhelmed. There are mistakes, evident ones in fact, and the sound might not be what you are used to with your fancy compact discs and ultra high bit-rate audio files. The disc was more than likely intentional vinyl-esque recording, done by a Mr. Dirty MikeDuff as the credits read; a sort of late 70's or early 80's budget recording. Songs range from delicious, ass-shaking pop cookies like “Some Kind of Metaphor” and “No Love Lost”, to creepy, omnipotent, almost prophetic incantations like “Lights in the Night”.

The band features two main vocalists, usually alternating every song or so. This works out to your favor. Having this lineup allows them not only two very distinct voices, but also two points of view and gives them a dual personality, like two bands rolled into one rock taco. Jeremy LaReau must be a huge fan of punk in the late 70's and early 80's. Raw, aggressive, almost angry, but still melodic with nonstop sing-alongs. Ryan is more unpredictable, showing influences of the early 90's indie-rock, but not necessarily confined to it. The group is anchored by Duane Conrick on bass, the official leader of the group, and drummer Jonathan Kruit, a brutal wrecking machine of rock thunder (trust me).

I've mentioned their live shows, and with good reason. They bring their rock machine to shows in hastily packed garbage bags, ones found discarded on the side of the Rock & Roll Highway, still steaming with the seminal fluids of past owners. Their shows have little downtime between songs, and with a Ramones-like mantra of “don't bore us, get to the chorus”, you will have much to take in. Occasionally, they'll even bring the audience into the performance, allowing strangers to handle their fret boards while they strum, and often conscripting unwitting bystanders into backup singers. They seem to grow stronger and more invincible as their set progresses, usually climaxing in a blizzard of the band's bodies and instruments. Protective gear isn't a bad idea.
- NWIndiana Entertainer


"Trash" - 2009 LP, 11 songs
download or stream at

2009 Demo. "No Love Lost" had some local internet radio play.
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We play American Styled Rock & Roll.

We got together in March '08, wrote some songs, played some shows, broke some of our shit... that pretty much brings us up to date on us. We steal from T.Rex, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, the New York Dolls, the Exploding Hearts, the Who, early 'Stones, the Misfits, Guided by Voices, Husker Du, Superdrag, and other stuff from the 70's/Early 80's. Garage punkers with a twist of sexy and a bucket of raw.