BEST TRACKS: Agitate Resuscitate, We Are The Ones Who Make It So, We Pretend, Tight Rope
FCC violations: Agitate Resuscitate, The Saint, We Are. We Are. We Aren’t., This Reign is Ours, Hands Out
This classic alt-rock album, released on January 17th, has been a long time in the works (it’s Criteria’s first new album in 15 years)! To give you an idea of the kind of music Criteria makes, they toured with the likes of Jimmy Eat World and Minus the Bear following the release of their sophomore album En Garde in 2005. Their sound has stayed pretty consistent throughout the years (not that it needs to change). Years is sweetly reminiscient of simpler times AKA the early 2000s punk rock revival headed by Green Day’s American Idiot and the Offspring’s Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace.
The album opens with my favorite track of the record, lead single Agitate Resuscitate. This song’s monster riffs, toe-tapping hooks, and melody-forward vocals set very high expectations for the rest of the album. Strong bass lines will keep you grounded amidst the explosive drums and intense riffage. The album maintains it’s post-hardcore punk momentum all the way through to the end where it closes on a high note with Peace, ‘through our pain we still celebrate life today,’ and with a final call for world peace, the album fades into silence.
Criteria reminds me of Fall Out Boy, in that you’ll want to not just sing, but shout along to these passionate and anthemic lyrics. Songs on this album encompas the many ways in which we go through life, be it struggling and fighting for the revolution, or struggling with ourselves alone. Listen to this album if you want to feed your rebellious and angry, yet carefree highschool soul. Even though growth and change in music is great and encouraged, there’s something reassuring about knowing that some things in music never change. For every genre, there will always be a core, classic sound that we can revert to for comfort when we are tired of the new. For the genre of post-punk, Criteria encompasses this core perfectly.
In closing, welcome back, Criteria. It’s great to have you back.