Review by Nick Manduley

September 8, 2021

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Photo Credit: Jonathan Weiner

Rising easycore outfit Meet Me @ The Altar officially released their new EP Model Citizen on August 13th. The release follows a handful of singles and their 2019 sophomore EP, Bigger Than Me, and is the first EP they’ve dropped since signing to Fueled By Ramen in 2020.

Model Citizen sees the band expertly showcasing their affinity for high-octane guitar riffs, catchy choruses, and air-tight drums. Guitarist Téa Campbell executes intricate, chug-heavy riffs with deadly precision over drummer Ada Juarez’s energetic, seamless drum beats; vocalist Edith Johnson adds her heavenly melodies and harmonies to the mix, her head-turning high notes acting as the cherry on top to these six glorious tunes poised to open up moshpits worldwide.

The release kicks off with “Feel A Thing,” the first single heard from the EP earlier this summer. Starting with a glorious 8-bit synth track, the song explodes into the heavy, in-your-face riffage that Campbell has become known for. Being primarily responsible for the guitars and bass tracks in Meet Me, Campbell’s serotonin-inducing riffs can be found across the whole of their discography; sections such as the “Feel A Thing” chorus and the “Brighter Days” breakdown are living proof that there was no holding back on Model Citizen.

Johnson graces “Mapped Out” with vibrant harmonies and vocal hooks drenched in pop sensibility: “How did I get here? / It’s not mapped out / Can I find my own way out? / I gotta keep searching.” Her lyricism pivots to themes of optimism and bright futures on “Brighter Days (Are Before Us),” which kicks into gear in a cavalcade of guitar feedback against Juarez’s double-bass laden beats. “Brighter Days” is the second single from Model Citizen, and was accompanied by a music video which dropped on July 30th.

The six-track EP enters its second half with “Now Or Never,” a song that centers on love and its many forms, as described by Johnson in an acoustic session for NME. “Never Gonna Change” chases the catchy love tune with its instantly memorable guitar-led intro. Johnson sings about personal growth and striving to become one’s best self, a theme seemingly central to Model Citizen: “I need to face myself / To save my mental health / But I’m not ready yet, I can tell / Found comfort in my shell.” The EP draws to a close with the fervent breakdowns of “Wake Up.”

Fans can catch Meet Me @ The Altar on numerous tours this fall, including runs with All Time Low, Nothing Nowhere, The Used, Coheed and Cambria, and more. The tours will cover the continental United States, Canada, and a handful of UK dates. Grab tickets via the band’s website.

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Nick Manduley is an aspiring music journalist and musician from Bradley Beach, NJ. He is currently an intern at Relix Magazine where he helps produce and curate online content. Since 2016, he has provided guitars and vocals for the local punk band Drive, Kid. Drive, Kid released an EP and a full-length album in 2018, and are currently recording their sophomore LP.

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