If you didn’t get a chance to get out and have some fun this Fourth of July weekend, you’re probably pretty bummed. So if you want to get ahead of the FOMO and make your own plans for the next few days, we highly recommend checking out The Criticals. The core songwriting duo behind this Nashville quintet is guitarist Cole Shugart and vocalist Parker Forbes, who released The Criticals’ debut EP Mimosa Hygiene in late 2019. They bested the early hurdles of COVID by keeping their internal energy up and doubling down on writing, recording, and releasing songs and music videos. And by the time the band released their 2020 sophomore EP Sour Grapes, they’d just about reached critical mass.
Once social distancing mandates have became more lax, The Criticals truly began to thrive. Their formal live debut was last June in Nashville, where they sold out a 600-person venue, thanks in no small part to Forbes’ Jagger-esque antics and Shugart’s prolific picking. The Criticals have carried that “sold out headlining shows” momentum ever since, and yet still somehow had the time to track their third EP, United States of Chemicals, which dropped at the end of March. Their next tour spot in support of United States of Chemicals is 7PM tomorrow night at Empire Control Room along with CHLSY and Austin’s Strange Cadets. If you want to sweat and rock out, this is the show for you. If not, take a swig with The Criticals, who haven’t shied away from their creative relationship with booze, of “Absinthe”.