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Citizen Rage psyched about first full length album ‘Harsh Reality’

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Calgary punk/ metal band Citizen Rage  are ready to rock their long awaited first full length  album  “Harsh Reality” on a tour which brings them to Lethbridge, to play the Slice, Wednesday, May 24.

' The album has been three years in the making. They re-recorded crowd favourite anti-bullying anthem Fuck Your Face, and added a solid cover of  the Rebel Spell’s “Breathe.” They also  have First Nations drumming and singing  on “Given No Hope,” which is about the discovery of  215 graves behind former residential schools locations.


Mark Russell of Citizen Rage. photo by RichardAmery

“It’s going great. We‘re really excited to get this album into everybody’s hands. It’s been three years in the making. And we‘re on tour with our best buds, No More Moments. We‘re really excited about everything,” said Citizen Rage frontman Mark Russell en route to Banff for the first show of the tour.


“I’m in the van right now heading  to the Pump and Tap in Banff for day 1 of the Harsh Reality tour. In tow we’ve got the with No More Moments people. Those homies are in the van behind us and we’re all ready to go,” he enthused.

“We’re really excited to get out on this leg. This is the first one we’re going to do. Then we have a part two in September which we’re going to release probably when we get back. We’re just unbelievably excited to jest get out and get more consecutive  dates together and see some homies. Yeah Lethbridge is our home away form home. We can’t wait to get back to the Slice and see everybody and give everybody a hug,” he said, adding they will be playing a lot of the new album and selection from their previous EPS.


No More Moments, Berserker and the Hockey Moms will be playing with Citizen Rage in Lethbridge at the Slice on Wednesday, May 24.


Citizen Rage features bassist Mikey Bastard, drummer Chase Hamilton, guitarist Sean Adam vocalist Mark Russell and guitarist Ross Ferguson.


“From writing to studio  to all of production, it’s been almost three years,” Russell said.


“ It was surreal holding our very first vinyl. We all had a great time at the jam room  touching it, holding it, rubbing it all over our faces,” Russell continued, adding they had a vision for the album, which they released on Cursed Blessings Records.

“We actually stepped into the studio with a bit of more premise than most of the EPs. We actually had a direction on how we wanted it to all work. So all the songs flow perfectly together. We tried to touch base, typically with citizen Rage with whatever is in front of us socially. So we have a song about the 215, we have songs about mental health like always, that’s a big topic for us. We touch base on the current social climate with our government like we always usually do. But this time with better, faster, thrashier tracks and a lot more crossover to this album,” he continued.


They got Siksika Nation singer, drummer and dancer Spike Junior from the Blackfoot Confederacy to record First Nations singing and drumming for the second track of the CD “ Given No Hope.”

“He came in and that song’s called ‘For The Children.’ That’s about the start of the search for the discarded children by our government. in Residential schools,” he said.

“Just opening our eyes a little bit. We just saw what was going on and, I’m sure like most people, when you read about finding those children behind the schools, it strikes a chord with you. And that’s why we tried to come out with a fast, quick, in your face approach to exactly what was going  on with that,” he said.


   Citizen Rage are huge Rebel Spell fans, so they had to record their song ‘Breathe,” from their last CD The Last Run.


“We’re huge fans of Rebel Spell. We love that band. Every time we‘ve been on a tour, that band plays in the vehicle we’re in.“Breathe” really spoke to us (bassist) Mikey  Bastard and I really enjoy that track, so we decided to give it a try. Which happened to be the hardest song they ever do. That’s why Mikey sings the best verses. He can handle it. That’s a crazy song  for me. ‘Breathe’ is one of my top five Rebel Spell tracks. And I’m glad we got an opportunity to cove that song  and they actually  gave us permission to do so. So we did it all properly,” Russell said.


 They are excited about the tour.

“ We have a little taste of everything —some of the new album,  some of the old pieces. We’re also bringing up a surprise cover and we’re going to bring the No More Moments guys up with us and shred another one of another our favourite songs together— an old school track,” he enthused adding they are excited to support the new album.


“ Just trying to keep everything above water. We really put a lot of work into this album and want to to go as far as we can. Our label support  really backed us up, gave us a lot of product to get out. The second we get back we’re going to do some more writing, get another album and more touring,” Russell said.

“ We just hope everyone just hops on there, gives it a spin and give us some feedback. We love hearing from everybody. Share it,” he said.

 Citizen Rage’s “Harsh Reality” album release tour stops by the Slice, Wednesday, May 24. No More moments, Berserker and the Hockey Moms are also on the bill. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. The bands begin at 8 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 19 May 2023 16:25 )  
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