Posted by: will | January 1, 2006



Criteria “When We Break” (Saddle Creek)

Stephen Pederson has had an unusual musical ride. He was a founding member of the hugely popular indie/emo band Cursive, but left before the band reaped its success. He fronted the criminally underrated band, The White Octave, but the band ended after two strong albums that never really seemed to find an audience. He then went off and finished law school and became a lawyer. He stepped back briefly fronting his new band Criteria as they released their debut, En Garde, in 2003. Only a small amount of touring was done and not much was expected from Pederson as he became involved in law full time. However, a funny thing happened. The almighty Saddle Creek Records stepped up and wanted to release a new Criteria record. Mr. Pederson made the decision to hang up his business suit and rock full time once again. We are the lucky ones for that.

When We Break picks up right where Criteria’s wonderful debut En Garde left off. That album was my summer of 2003 album. It was an album chock full of sing-along rock anthems and When We Break follows in that same mold. Criteria has many similarities to Pederson’s former bands but is more accessible and tends to leave much of the angularity of math rock at the door. If what you are looking for is truly infectious and melodic (indie) rock songs then Criteria is exactly what you need. Fans of Pederson’s former bands or anything in the Quicksand mold will find something to enjoy here. You should not expect lyrical wonders coming from Pederson, yet, I have no doubt that you will be singing along regardless.

RIYL: Cursive, The White Octave, Quicksand


Criteria – Run Together (mp3)

Criteria – Prevent The World (mp3)


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