Shooting a gritty, rambunctious rock band outside with no amps is a bit like photographing a towering mountain range. It's difficult, if not impossible, to capture the scale and majesty on film. So when The Critters contacted Xpress about shooting a video, I was concerned that the band's untempered energy (and nuanced melodies) would be lost in an outdoor, on-the-fly setting.

That said, I also trusted the band's instincts. The local four-piece has a clear sonic vision, and its modern take on infectious psych-pop has demonstrated a talent for translating loose ideas into concrete results.

From the start, it was apparent that this would be the Critters' project; I would simply show up and press record. Not surprisingly, the band chose the perfect location and worked out a charmingly-subdued acoustic set. We met on an overcast Saturday afternoon. The Critters arrived ready to play.

This came as no surprise. The band might be unpredictable, but it's no college party band. One listen to the new EP and it's abundantly clear that the Critters are innovative, flexible and passionate about what they do. And they're damn good at it.

- Dane Smith

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