Every new punk band spawns its own subgenre or sub-subgenre. There's Southern California Whine Punk, popularized by the vocal stylings of Tom DeLonge from blink-182. There's Happy Poppy Whine Punk, Uplifting Punk, Emo-Crossed Punk, the Ol' Middle Finger I Gotcher Punk Right Here Punk, and a thousand others. They all sound slightly different, but the difference exists. Pissed-off rocking fills many a varied bottle.
Critical Me is different because it falls neatly into the category spawned by almost-famous Pennywise -- the subgenre being, "Not Whiny, but Disgusted with Most Every Aspect of American Life Punk." They've got the rhythm speed and indignation of Pennywise, as well as the lead vocals -- rougher, ragged, and manlier than most SoCal Whine Punk sissy bands. Thank God. Another Whine Punk CD crosses my desk, and I'm going to eat my computer speakers.
All in all, Critical Me is a talented band that plays tight and coordinated punk. Peter pops the skins with skill, and Muheim's bass keeps the driving pace required by quick music. A good night of High Skill San Diego Punk would be a team-up of Fifty on Their Heels with Critical Me at a clean dive like the Kensington Club.
Album: Promised Land (2007)
Artist: Critical Me
Label: Magnitude 6.19 Records
Where available/price: Lou's Records, Off the Record, Music Trader, and Spin Records for $10.
Online at Smartpunk.com, and CDBaby.com for $10, and iTunes.com for $9.99.
Songs: 1) Promised Land 2) No Escape 3) Russian Roulette
4) Halfway Home 5) Excuses 6) King Greed 7) Going Nowhere 8) Through My Eyes 9) Armageddon 10) Waiting in Line 11) Same Ol' Bullshit
Band: Caleb Bedsole (vocals), Chris Buckel (guitar), Carl Muheim (bass), Josh Peter (drums)