Last fall, Criminal Kids were nice enough to make a couple of songs from their then forthcoming debut EP available for free download. Here we are today, and that EP is no longer forthcoming. It's out now on Spaghetty Town Records in the USA and Gods Candy Records in Canada! After hearing the teaser "Outcast", I knew the whole EP was gonna slay! And sure enough, this six-song release is exactly what I expected. Criminal Kids hail from the south side of Chicago, and their music is definitely a reflection of where they come from. They play tough, aggressive music that's equal parts punk and rock. While hardly the first band to mix gritty urban punk with the high-powered rock n' roll of Motorhead and AC/DC, Criminal Kids have taken that style and really given it a kick in the ass. They bring a ton of energy - with guitars ripping, bass punching, and drums slamming. And listen to those vocals, man....that's some first-rate screaming! This is an awesome EP to listen to with headphones on, because it's fun to hear the wild racket that each guitar is kicking up. I can totally picture the band tearing it up on stage! Especially on tracks like "Takin' It Back" and "Vanity", Criminal Kids sound like they've come to punch you in the mouth with their music. They bring great commitment to this genre of music, along with plenty of killer riffs and quality hooks. These guys are definitely throwbacks to the later '90s heyday of punk rock n' roll, but they've managed to add something to it that feels fresh to my ears. Legend has it that Teddy Spaghetty was so blown away by their live show that he immediately signed them to his label. It's not always easy to capture that same kind of energy on a studio recording, but this debut EP sure gives it a good run. My only instructions are to play it loud!