Now that the ’90s are almost three decades gone, it’s easier than ever to hear how the blown out, gritty aura of that era lingers on in new iterations of punk, pop, and rock. For Citris, a New York punk band who came up at Purchase College in Purchase, NY, the ’90s are a major touchstone on their debut album Panic In Hampton Bays. But for the band’s frontwoman Angelina Torreano, the influence of grunge is just another weapon in her already formidable songwriting arsenal.
“The ’90s — of course — is one of my main styles,” she said. “But it seems but if you think about it, the late ’60s, early ’70s and the ’90s share a lot of similarities. For instance, Elliot Smith drew a lot of inspiration from The Beatles, and he was a huge ’90s songwriter. So I’d say it’s actually a combination of those.”
While grunge is a foundational part of Citris’ sound, so is a scathing critique of society’s expectations for women’s appearances and relationships, and a feminist perspective, which specifically brings Hole and Alanis Morissette to mind. Torreano writes all the band’s lyrics, drawing largely on her own experiences, and then collaborates with guitarist and producer Chris Krasnow to create the swirly, heady rock songs that have recently caught the ear of listeners far outside the band’s east coast bubble.
The band self-released Hampton in 2015 as a streaming-only album, but after the small, local LA record company New Professor Music got a hold of the record, they decided to re-release it this year. For Torreano and Krasnow, who write all of Citris’ songs, played every part on this record, and taught the parts to other band members for live show and touring purposes, the opportunity to get another chance with their debut record is a huge positive.
“At first I was worried that people would overlook the reissue because we had released it before,” Torreano said. “But now I’m happy we’re doing it, because I’m realizing how many people we actually didn’t reach. We reached our friends but we need to reach more than just that.” If you don’t have the pleasure of already being friends with the band, get to know them in our conversation below, and look for the new iteration of Panic In Hampton Bays coming out this Friday, 2/24 via New Professor Music.