Philadelphia’s Among Criminals premieres the music video for “If You Don’t Die Too Soon” today on Tattoo. The track is from the band’s forthcoming EP, Darker Sweetness, slated to drop August 2019.
“If You Don’t Die Too Soon” is about a belligerent couple’s last moments together,
Frontman Ryan Gaughan explains, “The video captures the darker asthmatic of the song, giving an obvious struggle the couple is having up to their fatal accident.”
Made up of Gaughan, Bhauraw Avhad, and Kyle Ruggieri, Among Criminals took off when Gaughan found himself down and out. Nearly homeless and barely able to scrape by, all he had left was the band. So he girded up his loins and focused on writing songs and laying down tracks.
It paid off. Since then, Among Criminals has toured incessantly, honing their sound and live performances, along with gathering a cult-like following. The band has played sold-out shows at The World Café Live, TLA, and Electric Factor, along with performing in Europe, Iceland, Central America, and the US, sharing the stage with Dirty Heads, SOJA, Fortunate Youth, and Pepper.
Among Criminals’ unique sound, an amalgamation of rootsy Jamaican dub and SoCal reggae-punk, combined with darker lyricism infuses their music with appealing washes of tasty savors from ‘90s alt-rock and ska, as well as dollops of Latin rhythms.
“If You Don’t Die Too Soon” opens on skiffing reggae guitars and a scrumptious one-drop beat, and then shifts into a creamy alt-rock flow embellished with hints of pop color on the chorus, while still sustaining the melody’s reggae essence.
Gaughan’s voice, silky and dulcet, delivers indulgent timbres pervaded by cashmere tones, smooth and velvety. The juxtaposition of Gaughan’s deliciously buttery vocals with the throbbing depth of the cavernous bassline infuses the tune with two harmonic layers, one rich and charming, the other potent and subterranean.
Put simply, “If You Don’t Die Too Soon” is gorgeously magnetic, full of oozing textures atop a muscular rhythm, all crowned by Ryan Gaughan’s captivating voice.