At the end of December, suspense was swirling around the release of Criminal Hygiene’s debut album, CRMNL HYGNE, getting on lists like, “Most Anticipated Albums of 2013.” Well, I see your praises and I’ll raise you one more – Criminal Hygiene has set the precedent for IRR’s best new artists of 2013. Even if you’re not down with beer, or skateboarding, or grunge / garage rock, you’re going to shut up, listen and enjoy these guys.
Now that they have getting banned from The Redwood for just having too much fun behind them, its time to set the record straight – Criminal Hygiene will give you a show you won’t forget, even if you’re blak-ed out (before you go judging my spelling, get on the bandwagon and listen to “Blak Water” already). Their album release show at The Satellite in LA proves this. Sure, any old punk band is rowdy with a mosh pit, but how often can they do it with class? Well, for starters, when the crowd asked bassist, James Watson, to take his shirt off, he responded frankly, “Well, I have two on so…” The trio played 9 of their 17 tracks, including singles “Blak Water” and “Rearrange Me”. After thanking mom and dad for coming, they proceeded to fall all over stage, play against each others backs, even strum his bass so hard that Watson split his pick. They are crisp and timely, don’t tire or succumb to sloppiness and overall just sound damn good. Each member handles their piece like an appendage with a stamina that would eventually put that moshpit on the floor. Their live presence transcends the already excellent production on the album and they party like its 1994, so forget worrying about your skinny jeans and tear it up with ‘em!
Ok, so I didn’t actually get a beer in my face, but I’d take it if it meant seeing Criminal Hygiene again.
Tickets for their show on at The Echo on Friday, Feb. 22 with The Orwells are available for $8!
Photos by Z. Roessell: