Nashiville-based rock outfit The Criticals recently released a new EP, entitled Mimosa Hygiene, a collection of six-tracks of mouthwatering music reflecting hints of the band’s influences – The Stone Roses, Janes Addiction, and The Doors – yet embellished with their own distinctive sound.

Made up of Parker Forbes and Cole Shugart, The Criticals genesis was forged in Nashville’s vibrant DIY scene, where Forbes and Shugart played in a variety of bands prior to hooking up. Since getting together, the duo has released a number of attention-grabbing singles, such as their first single, “Homebody,” followed by “Kate Moss” and “Treat Ya Better.”

The Criticals have performed in Chattanooga, San Diego, and Los Angeles, along with headlining FreezerFest and Spudbash in Nashville, as well as receiving rave reviews from media outlets like Popdust, Earmilk, Brooklyn Vegan, and Come Here Floyd.

The first track on Mimosa Hygiene is “Good Looking,” opening on dark, growling guitars flowing into a raw pummeling rhythm. Rife with garage rock and punk energy, the tune rumbles and surges on gritty textures topped by potently intense vocals.

“What you got / I used to have / I used to be good looking.”

“Treat You Better” roils and trundles on deep colors full of pop-lite savors. A fat vibrating bassline emphasizes the chaffing guitar, as trembling tones fill the melody with actinic accents. I love the glowing background vocal harmonies, imbuing the tune with shiny “oh-oh-ohs.”

“Homebody” travels on bright metallic guitar flavors riding a powerful bassline and snapping drums. Suffused with sparkling pop flavors, the tune echoes with both alt-rock and art-pop textures, making a tasty sonic meal. A drum-filled breakdown leads to beaming layers of pigmentation.

“Just For The Weekend” exudes faint tinges of new wave pop relish, as well as tight alt-rock and alt-pop surfaces, melding into an almost affectionate melody. Frankly, this tune reminds me of The Kinks, if they decided to cover a modern pop song.

“Kate Moss” blends pop-punk-lite elements with a driving dance-derived rhythm. The combination is buoyantly effervescent, and urges listeners to get up and move to the groove. I love the chorus, full of shimmering washes and layers of gleaming energy.

The final track is “Got No Love,” opening on strumming acoustic guitars and a thumping kick-drum topped by luminous vocals.

Mimosa Hygiene is excellent, merging alt-rock, pop, and new wave tangs into alluring songs, crowned by intoxicating vocals and compelling rhythms.


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