According to social media, Critics are an upcoming 'Dirt-Pop' band based in London, UK. In practice, I'd say they're bordering on alternative/pop.
Today we're going to talk about Critics debut five track EP 'Spilt Milk'.
Having released some songs via YouTube already, I thought I knew what to expect from 'Spilt Milk'. I was wrong. The direction of the EP is slightly different from the primarily pop/rock sound I was expecting. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
Kicking off the EP is 'All I Wanna Know' with the smash of drums, pulsing roar of guitars and synths. After a while the vocal seemingly creeps in with a slightly intriguing whispered tone.
My interpretation of the lyrics to 'All I Wanna Know' is that it is about a relationship breakdown (whether that be romantic or otherwise). It's about someone that may have not believed in you or been there for you but now you're a little more successful you can look back and forget them.
Some lyrics that illustrate this are:
'I'm the success story and you're a little too late.'
'I better buy some specs so I can see you from LA.'
'Let's not pretend I don't know what they were using me for.'
I may be painting a pessimistic picture here but that is not the case at all, the song is actually quite a bright toned pop song that will keep your foot tapping with catchy rhythms entwined together.
The track almost comes to an end with an eerie guitar strike, piano and vocal combination when suddenly the drums and pulsing rhythms return for one last time. A couple of piano key taps finishes the track off in a quirky way.
Next up we have 'Blues & Greys'.
I particularly liked the introduction to this song as it is a nice repeated guitar pattern on a bed of sound that is built upon with the addition of scratchy (for want of a better word) vocals that explode into the chorus.
This is where the song really gets going.
'The weather man brings the rain' marks the start of the incredibly catchy chorus.
'Blues & Greys' is more electronically influenced than other songs on the EP I would argue. There is more of a dance vibe during the chorus, with a heavy bass line and scratchy drums.
Another point of interest comes towards the end of the song in a sort of break down moment where the vocals are spoken, not sung. This is reminiscent of the Twenty One Pilots vocal style and provides great contrast in the track.
Track three is 'Famous'. At first listen, this was probably my favourite song on the EP mainly because it has more of the rock edge I was expecting.
'Famous' details the dream and ideals of being famous as well as telling a story of what it would, potentially, be like.
' I can't wait 'till I'm famous.'
'My name in all the papers.'
'I don't know there's something 'bout that life.'
Typical instrumentation is used in this track, a classic drum kit with guitar riffs and a vocal that lends itself to be compared with Brendon Urie.
After only hearing this song twice I can safely say that I know the main chorus and have been humming it for two days.
The penultimate track is 'Going With You'.
Another great guitar features at the beginning of this track with crashing drums. This is taken away when the clean vocal enters.
Some prominent brass is featured in 'Going With You' which is interesting.
'I don't know where I'm going but I'm going with you.'
'Going With You', in my view, is about the confusion of life but having someone to rely on who will get you through troubled times.
Finally we have 'I Just Wanna Love You'.
To me, this has a sort of hip hop vibe and is the most 'pop' sounding song on the EP. This is emphasised by drum machine-esque beats that really compliment the rhythm of the vocal.
The start is pretty chilled - a clean repeated guitar pattern gradually layered with softer vocals and drums that build up.
Overall, 'Spilt Milk' is a very polished EP that gives a great overview of what Critics are capable of.
Until next time...
Critics YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/criticstheband