Brighton trio Dutch Criminal Record embrace their Surf-Pop beginnings with a fresh Shoegaze and Dreampop undertone on the new four track EP Apathy Mixtape, out today via AntiFragile.
Having spent the last few years building their reputations with sell out live shows across the UK, an appearance at SXSW and a European tour Sea Girls, Dutch Criminal Record have cemented their place as ones to watch. The new EP encapsulates a new phase for the band as they continue to record their upcoming debut album.
Opening with the noisey and atmospheric ‘Oat Milk’ the band instantly showcase their growth and subtle change in direction with a more shoegaze influenced sound, soaked in reverb and chorus. With an infectious vocal line that sits slightly buried in distortion and atmospherics the band display the same songwriting prowess which has seen them lorded by press and radio alike over the years but with a fresh intense approach.
Elsewhere ‘Come Closer’ captures the bands upbeat vibrancy perfectly, displaying a similar sonic pallet to previous releases ’00’s Nostalgia’ and ‘Light Up’. Shimmering chorus drenched guitar lines and a bittersweet vocal delivery capturing a subtle melancholy ride a wave of major chords and upbeat drums to capture the surf-indie sound that fans have come to know and love.
‘Cigarettes on the balcony’ offers rest-bite from the full band sound with a stripped vocal and guitar arrangement. Built around a beautiful guitar line bringing some Hendrix-esque playing and gradually building with layers of vocal harmonies and percussion, the track is an understated beauty.
Closing with the EPs lead single for release ‘Apathy’ the band sit right in the middle of their sonic pallet with reverb tinted guitar lines, delicate thoughtful vocals and a vibrant surf-indie chord choices, reflecting upbeat instrumentation with retrospective vocals, something the band do so well. On the surface ‘Apathy’ is a nice, delicate bopping euphoric tune but lyrically, there’s a distinct sense of disappointment and well… apathy. A wonderful closing track with a chorus to die for.
Again showcasing their abilities as songwriters and performers, Dutch Criminal Record deliver four more thoughtful, depthy and yet hugely enjoyable indie-alt tunes on ‘Apathy Mixtape’. The band are yet to falter, always delivering original, stylistic and commercially viable music with a distinctive edge.
While this feels like a transition for the band as they move in a slightly more alternative direction, leaning very gradually further into a more atmospheric sound, the band still showcase a striking musical understanding and an unwavering ability to create instantly likeable soundscapes.