It’s been that long since a Thought Criminals release that many considered the pairing of Mikal kHill and Sulfur to be indefinitely disbanded.
Not so, with their first release since 2012 The Through Criminals are back with a four track EP titled thaw. and it’s just the start, kHill and Sulfur will return in 2015.
With a single adjective forming the title of each track the music adheres to the description. Opener Smooth, is smooth, blending an easy flowing vocal style from both rappers over a jazz track accentuated with natural beats. Smooth gives way seamlessly to Rough where you’ll find a more raw vocal style, almost distorting and vaguely reminiscent of Ill Communication era Beastie Boys. Musically uncomplicated, minimal instrumentation packs a mighty punch underlined with grit from rebellious vocal samples.
Tracks one to three are all produced by Mikal kHill and we find his industrial influences surfacing on Fire as traditional instrumentation moves aside for some darker synth set to a steady tempo. Cecilnick lends his production skills to track four, Water. An evolving track that begins with a high-tempo, complex, programed composition that makes way for a measured beat that penetrates a layer of static.
thaw. is a taster of what to expect from The Thought Criminals’ new full length release due next year. It’s more raw, noisy and raucous than we’re used to perhaps, but I like the way things are shaping up.
Download thaw. now from bandcamp for $5 or get a physical copy for $10.