Chris Sicard filters in a plethora of sounds and styles on the electronic psychedelic gleam of “Critter”. Rooted in a unique mixture of darkwave, garage rock, industrial, even punk at times the songs burst at the seams. From track to track he changes things up enormously making sure there is no problem with the sheer vivid exploration of infectious hooks that linger on in the mind. Texturally it is a delight to behold for the constant shifting of the atmosphere, from joyous to tragic can happen in a split second. Unpredictability truly guides the album forward, for this has an organic, living breathing aspect to it. Best of all however are Chris’s vocals that effortlessly tie the overarching story together.
A virtual who’s who of indie rock and darkwave enter into the hazy, dazed spirit. On the most active side of things, the approach recalls a bit of the early and hungry Strokes’ output for it has that same lust for life. With darkwave one can hear bits of the Cure, Joy Division, and even newer purveyors of that sound like Blank Dog. For the mellowest pieces, those that reference a satirical big band and jazz quality, the influence of Jerry Paper, Mild High Club among others filters into the fray.
Playful beats introduce the glistening glow of the organ with the woozy “A.M. Thoughts”. With “Built By Design” he embraces a driving, seductive groove. Bass worms its way through as his vocals have a poignancy to them. Going for a sleazy synth “Youth And Sex (Feat. Belmez Faces)” has a freewheeling aspect. Toy box melodies give “Fruit Flies (feat. Slender Dan & Drew To The Game)” a childlike sense of wonder. Quite expansive, the poppy fervor of “Corina (feat. Hi Crime)” has a joy behind it. Hyperkinetic energy pours out of the chaotic gleam of “Hello (feat. The Requisite)”. Cleverly constructed “Southbound Letters (feat. Clairris Johnson)” has an undeniable swagger.
By far the highlight of the album comes from its true heart, the soulful “Over And Over (feat. Asterhouse and Blinder)”. Within this piece they let it all loose, from the anxious guitar work to the propulsive bass. A true burst of pure emotional emerges on “Pockets”. Neat economical electro cadences underpin the dance rock splendor of “Get In Line (feat. Danny Denial)”. Allowing for a spaciousness of sorts comes the massive slab of “You’ve Gotta Get Your Shit Together (feat. Lowlander)”. Mellowed out tropical vibes define the summery “Climb (feat. Tiger Rider)”. Ending the album off on a minimal note is the delicate “Carry It Down The Road”.
Wild, unpredictable, and a true journey through an encyclopedic knowledge of indie’s storied history, Chris Sicard embraces a chaotic crazed and compassion sound with “Critter”.