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Critical Failure / Blog

2015 + Crit Happens EP, Pt2

[continued from pt1]

One of the most popular tracks from Roll Iniatitive, the Heart Lies, gets an acoustic treatment for track #4. While not the most predictable song from the first album to translate to acoustic, it was an interesting challenge for the band to take the song in a vastly different direction, but still maintain a compatible emotion and mood for the content and meaning of the song.

Lastly, we hid a little gem at the end of the album and those who frequent our shows will definitely recognize it.

A lot of thought and ties went into the album art, as well. In the opening skit of Crit Happens, the soda that is being opened is actually a Surge can, while various snack foods can be heard being opened, namely a Snickers bar and a bag of Doritos. While the Surge can is pretty readily visible on the cover, there is also a half-eaten Snickers, still in the wrapper, along with an empty bag of Doritos included on the external artwork. The Surge had signifigance from our youth, as it was the "cool" drink and a precursor to the deluge of energy drinks that flood the market today. While the Doritos have no specific signifigance, the Snickers was chosen as a nod to an inside joke we have had in the band with regards to the lyric in Insatiable, "Open your arms and satisfy the hunger", specifically the "satisfy the hunger" part which is very similar to one of the slogans for Snickers.

The paper in the background that is ripped up is actually a duplicate of the character sheet that was used as the basis for the stats on the artwork for Roll Initiative, and is completely filled out to match where the character "Urunon". The paper torn up, along with the Surge can being tipped over, was a specific reference to the "this isn't fair!" moment near the end of Crit Happens, where the sound effect of paper being ripped and things being knocked over can be heard.

As far as the inside artwork, the left side and the CD itself features prominently the designs of our custom, self crafted "Magic" cards, which also feature the personas that were later adapted into the villains for the story behind Crit Happens. The tray behind the CD itself is the full, original story of the encounter that was first created for the sake of one of our t-shirt designs and adapted to fit with the characters on the cards, and later adapted into the song. The overall appearance, particular the font style, are directly taken from the design of the Crit Happens shirt.

We put a lot of work and thought into what came together as our Crit Happens EP and as excited as we are to share it with everyone, we hope it is as well received.

Here's to whatever lies ahead for us for the rest of 2016!

-Critical Failure

2015 + Crit Happens EP, Pt1

2015 proved to be a big year for Critical Failure.

Despite the significant setback of our practice space being robbed and all of our merch and many pieces of equipment being stolen, we managed to bounce back and look on 2015 as a big year for us.

Starting the year out, we made an appearance at the Louisiana Comic Con in February, reaching an entirely new segment of our audience. A few more successful shows later, we then played the Sucker Punch Rally & Music festival, sharing the stage with the likes of Rockett Queen and Saliva.

Moving into the summer, we rocked downtown on the 4th of July and not only competed in the 99X X-Fest Battle of the Bands, but managed to score a win alongside our good friends in Trepid for the opportunity to open X-Fest '15 and share the stage with the likes of Halestorm, Trapt, and others. Rounding out the year, we made an appearance at the first Geek Fair held at Centenary College, expanding our reach and exposure to the fantastic "geek" community in the SBC area.

So far 2016 is shaping up to be just as exciting. Another and even more successful appearance at the Spring Geek Fair of 2016 to promote our upcoming EP and Release Party for "Crit Happens", which drops tomorrow at Bushnookies in Highland.

Crit Happens represents a step forward for the band, even further embracing our geek and pop culture roots that have influenced nearly every aspect of our music and presentation.

Opening with the eponymously named track "Crit Happens", the song centers around a made up D&D-like encounter between an unfortunate player with a string of bad luck and critical failures on his d20 rolls. A little bit of backstory on the track includes the opening scenario of a player investigating a rustling in the bushes, only to be sprayed by a skunk, is one of the earliest experiences that Joseph, the singer of the band, experienced when being introduced into "pen and paper" "table top" gaming. One little nod to the previous album, Roll Initiative, is the die that can be heard rolling in the opening of the song is the same die that was on the CD itself. The villains that the characters in the song encounter are based on the characters the band crafted for themselves in the "Magic: the Gathering" like cards they created to sell at the geek related events they regularly appear at and the shows they play (design which made it into the inside artwork for the album... more on that later).

Following at #2 is the track Insatiable, a hard hitting rock song taking aim at the sexual repressiveness of US society and the freedom that awaits being that choose to, basically, embrace the freak within and proudly give in to their desires.

Dis[appear] deals with a very small set of individuals that have acted as parasites in the local SBC scene, and chronicles a bit of the struggle in trying to better the music scene by calling out, dealing with, and addressing said individuals. In general, its a song venting frustrating toward anyone that our listeners may have in their life that only serves as a negative influence and drag.

[continued in pt2]

Journey to XFest15

It's been a long journey for us since last year. We released our debut, full length album Roll Initiative on September 20th at the Official Festapalooza After Party. We had a table promoting the afterparty and our CD at Festapalooza, and looking over at the big stage in Festival Plaza, we were determined that by the following year, we would be on that stage performing in front of the passionate SBC crowd.

Having helped set an attendnce record for the venue hosting our CD Release and Festapalooza After Party, we closed out 2014 with several more very successful shows. Moving into 2015, we were very excited for our booth at the 1st Annual Louisiana Comic Con, where we were able to introduce ourselves to a wide segment of the SBC market who may have never known about us otherwise. Moving forward, we were honored at the chance to play at the 6th Annual Sucker Punch Rally and Music Festival, and despite a significant setback with our rehearsal space being burglarized, we nevertheless pushed forward to take part in the 4th of July celebration downtown. We were also excited to make our Texas debut in 2015 and were honored to even be included in the Battle of the Bands for XFest 15.

Looking ahead, the determination that began less than a year ago will prove to have paid off, as we will be taking our place on the big stage at Festival Plaza for 99X's XFest 15, featuring Halestorm, Trapt, and many others. We are very excited for this opportunity and intend on making the most of every bit of it. We have some exciting ideas for closing out 2015, unquestionably our biggest year so far.

99X - Xfest15 Battle of the Bands

Last year in September, Critical Failure released their debut, full length LP Roll Initiative at the 99X Festapalooza Official After Party. We spent most of the day sweating it out next to the 99X booth promoting the show and our CD, all the while looking over at the stage and thinking how awesome it would be to have a chance to be on that stage the following year.

We began reaching out to 99X several months back in the hopes of having a chance to perform, not expecting anything but equipped with the attitude that the only truth path to failure is not trying at all.

Flash forward a few months later and 99X announces the XFest15 Battle of the Bands and after a few weeks of video submissions, we have been chosen as one of the 5 finalists to battle it out via ticket purchase based votes. Drenched in sweat, handing out flyers and promoting the show, we dreamed of the opportunity and here we are one month out from an announcement that might fulfill years worth of hard work to get such an opportunity.

Along with 4 other great local bands, 2 of which we are very good friends with (and 1 of which we even share a member with!), we are competing in the form of votes attached to ticket sales. Through the same hard work that afforded us this opportunity, we face forward with an equally strong resolve to raise the votes needed to be able to perform alongside acts such as Halestorm, Trapt, Otherwise, and Devour the Day.

Tickets can be purchased through this link. During check out, please use the promo code FAILURE to cast your vote for us! http://therockstation99x.com/xfest15-battle-of-the-bands-finalist-critical-failure/

Louisiana Comic Con

We are going to have an artist booth setup at the 1st Annual Louisiana Comic Convention. For those not familiar with what a "Comic Con" is, it typically brings together a wide array of interests from various areas of pop culture including things like comic books, movies, sci-fi, novels, pro wrestling, television shows, and other areas that are typically associated with the "nerdy" or "geeky." Considering that we as a band have woven our various areas of nerdish interests into the very fabric and identity of the band, it seems a no brainer that we bring our unique brand of music to the Louisiana Comic Con and share what we have created with those most suited to appreciate what really sits beneath the surface of the music and general identity of the band. We are very excited to have an opportunity to reach an audience that might not otherwise be exposed to our music and we have prepared a wide variety of merchandise to sell at the convention, most of which will be making its debut this Saturday. Included are 5 different designs of t-shirts (some of which making specific plays on the "nerd" influence of the band, including one that reads "Crit Happens"), the band's debut full length CD titled Roll Initiative, women's "boyshorts" with the logo, several different sticker designs (ranging from Crit Happens, to That's How I Roll [with a 1 rolled on a d20], Sex Dice & Rock n Roll, and more), magnets, bottle opener keychains adorned with the band's logo, velvet dice bags with the logo, blue d20s that match the color of the logo, necklaces with pendants ranging from d20s to guitar picks, and collectible cards reminiscent of Magic: the Gathering depicting each member of the band. The convention runs from 10am to 7pm on Saturday, February 21st and this will be the first of hopefully many to come. Critical Failure hopes for a smashing success for the convention and everyone involved and looks forward to continuing to be a part of the Louisiana Comic Con tradition for years to come.

New Year Ahead!

We wanna thank everyone that brought in the New Year with us! With 2015 officially under way, we are looking forward to continuing to rock out for you guys and expand into the new year. We have a lot of exciting things coming right out of the gate, including our Metal Monday debut at the Tiki Bar on January 5th (THIS MONDAY!), Hangarfest at Hangar 21 on January 24th, and of course we will have an artist booth setup at the 1st Annual Louisiana Comic Con on February 21st. Thank each and every one of you for making 2014 such a kick ass year and thanks in advance for the awesome 2015 we know we have ahead of us!

Studio - Day 1

Critical Failure is recording today at SMART Productions in Nash/Texarkana, TX with Frank Pryor.

We are recording three songs: The Heart Lies, Has the Veil Lifted?, and Ascend. We look forward to sharing these with you all.