Criteria releasing first album in 15 years, touring with Cursive (stream a track)
Stephen Pedersen left Cursive in 1998 and later started the band Criteria, but he’s obviously still on good terms with Tim Kasher and the rest of Cursive, because Criteria recently revealed they’d be ending their hiatus to open Cursive’s 2020 tour, and now they’re also set to release their first new album in 15 years on Cursive’s 15 Passenger label this January. Stephen Pedersen and Tim Kasher break the exciting news in a funny new video, where Tim and Stephen play each other in ping-pong, and if Stephen loses he has to put out a new Criteria album but if Tim loses he has to eat cat shit (natch). Tim wins by a landslide, and at the end of the video it’s revealed that Criteria’s new album is called Years and due January 17 via 15 Passenger.
The video also has clips of new music, and we’ve also got the premiere of lead single “Agitate Resuscitate.” The new stuff sounds great, and not only do Criteria sound totally revitalized after all this time away, they even sound a little crisper than they did the first time around. “Agitate Resuscitate” is stadium-sized post-hardcore/alt-rock with catchy hooks and monster riffs — they really don’t make ’em like this anymore. Welcome back, Criteria.
The album was produced, recorded, and mixed by Criteria’s own A.J. Mogis (whose work you also know from Cursive, Monsters of Folk, and more), and Criteria say it’s actually been in the making for years (hence the title). You can pre-order it here, and check out the artwork, tracklist, new single, announcement video, and list of tour dates below.
In one last bit of related news, Stephen Pedersen’s pre-Criteria band The White Octave (who reissued their debut LP back in 2014) are reuniting to play the 50th birthday party of Chapel Hill, NC rock club Cat’s Cradle on January 4.
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1. Agitate Resuscitate
2. The Saint
3. We Pretend
4. We Are. We Are. We Aren’t.
5. This Reign Is Ours
6. Tight Rope
7. Hands Out
8. We Are The Ones Who Make It So
Criteria — 2019/2020 Tour Dates
12/28 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room*
01/16 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater^
01/17 – Fort Collins, CO @ Washington’s^
01/18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro^
01/19 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux^
01/20 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos^
01/21 – Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall^
01/23 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s^
01/24 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah^
01/25 – Pomona, CA @ The Glass House^
01/26 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Teragram Ballroom^
01/29 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Bunkhouse Saloon^
01/30 – Tempe, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom^
01/31 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister^
02/01 – Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep^
*with Little Brazil and Lodgings
^Supporting Cursive and Cloud Nothings