With things as they are in Teddy Killerz’s native Russia and the Ukraine, the trio and their Ukranian friends are still working their hardest to try and release, gig and entertain wherever possible. Teddy Killerz have played recent shows in Austria and France with Eatbrain and Spain with Blackout, released artists on their own Neuropunk label and, of course, dropped their own releases on RAM, Bassrush Records and their latest EP on Eatbrain, Critical Damage.  

Released on March 14, most of Critical Damage was likely made before February 24, but it certainly has an extra poignancy now with its combative motif, track names like the title track, “Ego” and “Don’t Kill the Vibe” and its cover art of all three teddies in the center, protecting each other while surrounded by fire. One can’t help but draw a parallel, but on the other hand…this is neurofunk.

The lead track on Critical Damage is also its title track and sets the tone for the rest of the EP. Pulling no punches with its aggressive tone, this is classic Teddy Killerz. A short intro winds up into the main beat with a load of metallic glitch sounds and then you are in it, friends. Fully immersive with loads of cool samples to drive home their point, “Critical Damage” is chunky, crunchy, angry and funky all at once. What a way to open an EP.

“Ego” comes next and is also filled with glitchy starts and stops in the main synth, but there’s more melody here. With a jumpy beat and an ethereal female vox sample, there’s more heart to this track rather than just blood, sweat and more sweat. Inexplicably winding amens into the break and rave synths into the sound design, “Ego” is deceptively complex for having so much dancefloor cachet.

“Please Don’t Kill the Vibe” is probably the most technically straightforward of the three on Critical Damage. Meant to be a lead-in from “Ego,” this EP closer pulls techstep vibes directly out of ‘97 with another amen windup, uber-rave ornamental synths and multiple cheeky vox samples. No way this one won’t be played ad nauseam on the festie circuit this summer.

Of course it’s another slammer of an EP for the Teddy Trio because, well, always. Like many of us, Teddy Killerz are now most concerned about helping artists in the Ukraine, however, and sent us the following statement:

We have a lot of friends in the Ukraine and we would appreciate fans to support them. There are many Ukrainian artists such as our neuro friends and label mates Agressor Bunx who can’t currently tour or do their usual work. For most electronic music artists, touring is our main    source of income so please consider joining your favorite artist’s Patreon (AB’s is listed in the link above), buying their music or even messaging them to see how you can help. Thank you to all our fans for the support.

We think that pretty much says it all, and the music of these artists says a whole lot more.

Critical Damage is out now on Eatbrain and can be purchased on Beatport. Be sure to check out their Eatbrain Podcast with tracklisting as well.