Picture, if you will, a diffident young professional. By day, he is entrenched in the beige, climate-controlled world of corporate law. By night, he tirelessly melds face-searing riffs with pounding, syncopated drums, awaiting a rock-n-roll miracle.
Criteria's Stephen Pedersen need wait for that miracle no longer. And neither must you.
Pedersen wet his pubescent feet playing with a score of Omaha stalwarts, rocking the house with Cursive through multiple tours and the band's first two full-lengths. Then he went to Duke law school, moving on to rock houses in Durham, North Carolina with The White Octave, who released two albums and embarked on several successful tours before Pedersen returned to Omaha in 2001.
Finding himself band-less, living in a dim, mildewy basement for six months, Pedersen did the only thing he could do. He wrote an album called En Garde and started calling himself by a band name; Criteria. He recruited local musicians who similarly spent too much time in dim, mildewy basements to play the songs on En Garde, so as to not draw too much attention to himself.
Those musicians were former bass player for Lullaby For The Working Class and Presto! Studios engineering wizard AJ Mogis; half-man, half-machine, drummer Mike Sweeney of Beep Beep; and the secret ingredient, six string shredder Aaron Druery. With their help, Criteria went from being the code name of a guy to being a proper band.
when we break: a startling display of fist-pumping anthems and contagious melodies hell bent on shaking the ass of even the most coolly aloof and cynical listener. when we break smashes out of the gate with its sing-along-equipped opener, "Prevent the World," and refuses to relent for the duration of that which follows. Loud no matter the volume, Criteria deftly navigates enough punchy time changes to satisfy the smartypantses while keeping all those heads a'bobbing. Two words: Big Rock.