Reviews

The Critics The Critics LP

All I knew about this band going in was they were an early ’80s new wave band out of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. And my initial reaction was, “Cool! I love Aussie bands…but you don’t usually see them coming out of Newcastle. Wonder if there was some sort of scene there—better check!” That’s when I came across maybe the most endearing site I’ve ever seen on the internet. And it actually had some good info on this band! Turns out they existed from 1980–1983, and in that stretch they released two singles and recorded this LP. However, the LP was shelved in 1982 for unknown reasons, only to be uncovered in the last couple years and released here for the first time. Quite the story! But what about the record? Well, it’s certainly new wave…but it’s also never not odd (maybe the first track aside). The vocalist sounds like Mark Mothersbaugh doing an impression of Richard Hell, the guitar tone sounds like early IRON MAIDEN, and the vaguely post-punk atmosphere and the lyrical content remind me of the ADVERTS or the WIPERS. On top of all that, some tracks pair TALKING HEADS funk with hair metal solos, and others feature full-on glam histrionics. To get a good sense of its strangeness, give the seven-minute, multi-part epic “Alien” a listen—it’s worth it!