Dirt-pop trio CRITICS have just released Woodwork, a brand new 5-track EP to follow up their debut Spilt Milk and popular singles ‘All I Wanna Know’ and ‘Key Lime Pie’. The band have had a busy year, touring with the likes of Vukovi and SayWeCanFly, as well as finding the time to film chaotic music videos and write glittering new tracks. CRITICS are certainly doing everything they can to be heard above the noise.
The EP opens with ‘Key Lime Pie’, the most recent single from this synth-driven pop band. It’s an upbeat, bouncy track, stirring up memories of tropical cocktails and summer pool parties. It’s hypnotising and optimistic in its lyrics and melodies, comparing the fragile beginnings of a relationship to an indulgent dessert: sweet, zestful, and leaving you wanting just a little bit more.
The following track ‘What Are You Waiting For?’ holds a darker edge, with an almost sinister vibe laced in the notes. If ‘Key Lime Pie’ was a summer social then this song is the sexy afterparty, full of attitude and thunder behind the eyes. It’s a banger, by all means, and by far one of CRITICS’ best tracks; it shows a promising future for this young band.
‘Soldier In The Sky’ offers another complete change of pace, slowing things down and removing the glittering synth to leave nothing more than a simple ballad. You can feel the emotion in Lynn’s voice as he strains to sing over the heartbreak he’s feeling, sharing a rare intimacy and laying his soul bare. It’s easy to see why this track is already a fan favourite, captivating the listener from the very first note and inviting them to reflect on their own struggles.
The penultimate track, ‘Throw It Away’, is a bizarre combination of electro-dance vibes and an anthemic, defiant chorus. It’s a call to arms in self-destruction, with incredibly concerning lyrics: “This is a war that can’t be won / I’m just a stranger with a gun, holding the barrel to my mouth just for a taste.” Its contrast to the synth is jarring, almost ruining the impact of the bleak lyrics, but it’s a song that surprises you nevertheless.
The EP concludes with ‘If Only I Had My Way’, bringing you back down with its heavy emotional pull and echoeing chorus. It’s about clinging onto a love interest, perhaps seeing them through rose-tinted glasses, and holding onto those memories as a way of avoiding the future and any changes that comes with it. It’s romantic and futile, yet somewhat relatable as I’m sure many of us have held on when we should’ve been letting go.
This 5-track EP offers a wide variety in genre and skill, showing you exactly what CRITICS are capable of. Their strength is in their songwriting, and beautifully complex lyrics, and this collection of songs will stay with you long after the tape runs out.
Listen to Woodwork below on Spotify:
Tues 24th October – BRISTOL – The Louisiana
Weds 25th October – LONDON – Thousand Island