Critter is a combination of Weezer, Modest Mouse, and The Strokes that could easily bring the listener back to 2004. Vandelay Industries presents a recipe for alternative rock that was extremely popular seven or eights years ago. Still, the sound remains current, and draws on a number of recent influences: One will catch bits of Spoon, Franz Ferdinand and The White Stripes as well.
Overall, Critter has a very high production value. The songs are youthful and energetic, yet tastefully composed. What they lack in musical sophistication, they make up for in spirit.
Whether it’s a good or bad thing, the listener will probably find the song structures and melodies to be somewhat safe, familiar and universally descriptive of yesteryear’s alternative rock and pop punk.The lyrics could easily summarize a senior year of high school, or freshman year of college. While the rhymes are somewhat obvious, and the singer’s voice somehow reminiscent of the beer line at a kegger, the vocals still do an excellent job of complementing the music.
The track “Golden Anchors & Chrystal Sails” is exemplary of Vandelay Industries’ style. The beat is punky, upbeat and supports steady, staccato guitar power chords. The vocals are a little cliché in their angst, but the lyrics and melodies carry the music appropriately. Telltale synthesizer riffs are present throughout, and vocal harmonies are a bit cookie-cutter in their style and placement. The formula is good, but expected.
Although Vandelay Industries is in no way groundbreaking, Critter is a fun, easygoing and energetic EP that is equally adaptable to a skate video or a make-out session in your parent’s car.