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April 2014
Creepoid
"Creepoid
"
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The perfect solace for winter’s passing, Creepoid’s second full-length self-titled LP combines the zeitgeist of 90's grunge with pristine dissonance and somber lyricism. Released earlier this month by No Idea Records, Creepoid is eerie, melodic and stirring from beginning to end. 

The record’s introductory track “Nauda” opens with a singular note that swells into a melody, aligning itself with the listener in a way that feels confessional yet synonymous. A well-wrought continuation of the earnest diction reminiscent of Horse Heaven, “Nauda” is as bittersweet as its vocals, informed by the paradox of loneliness and longing. Expanding into a cinematically moody soundscape, guitars wail like sirens, beckoning chords to crash and settle into a fading ricochet - a premonition of “Sunday.” Coupled with acoustic strums and crisp vocal croons, a solemn request, “take my light and pull it out,” is beautifully melodic with perfectly placed tambourine that brings to mind the memorable mood concentrated. Exploring the affect and consequence of relational presence and its subsequent absence, the orchestration of “Sunday” renders a relatable narrative evocatively raw and sincere. 

“Yellow Wallpaper” ignites with driving bass and swirling riffs. As if resurrecting the perfection of Jeremy Enigk (ex-Sunny Day Real Estate), a la “Killed By An Angel” meets “Pillars,” the song evokes an eerie all consuming sense of the sublime that centers the track’s duration. Like an extension of Horse Heaven’s “Hollow Doubt,” the contextual weight of “Yellow Wallpaper” is harmonically haunting and intentionally poignant. “Baptism” washes over its listener in waves of riffs and echoed vocals that occupy an emotive territory similar to lesser-known tracks by Sonic Youth, subverted and painted darker by the brooding buzz reminiscent of shoegaze greats like My Bloody Valentine. 

In its decline, “Baptism” casts a feeling of transcendent submersion, befitting its namesake. With a crystallized aggression, “Gout” does the same - urgent and arresting with visceral shouts and screams. “Stay Inside” is considerably more subdued than the album’s preceding tracks but equally mesmerizing, unfolding “Tired Eyes,” a hypnotic chant of a fatigued psychedelic. “Golden String” feels slightly optimistic, while “Acrimony” blossoms then retracts into a reserved yet deliberate ballad that demands its audience’s attention like a gloomy lullaby with teeth. “Vulgar,” warm and sunlit, is lush and arresting, setting the stage for the album’s closer “Old Tree,” a jubilant ending to yet another epic compilation of clairvoyant anthems evoked by Creepoid. - Dianca Potts 

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Album Review: Exorcism - Power Animal

Album Review: Exorcism - Power Animal

The words of Power Animal may be obscured by a boatload of studio manipulation, but what they’re communicating is always clear: This is Feel-Good Music. Evident from Power Animal’s major-key synth hooks and disco percussions is a love of the kind of nostalgic sentimentality bands like M83 and Passion Pit maximize with unrelenting waves of keyboard and second-wave British invasion bands like The Kooks channel into plain-spoken love narratives. But unlike these late-aught champions of electronic-indie, Power Animal don’t do “pleasant” by blending every pleasant thing they could think of into an overwhelming pastiche. Instead of indulging dream-pop’s natural affinity for cheese and excess, Power Animal strip it down into the grimy, humble Exorcism, an EP that, with its bare-bones approach and subtle use of hooks, aims to reclaim the genre’s humanity. 
 
There’s no denying that Exorcism presents itself as “quirky.” The jerky keyboard lines and garbled vocals sound as if they’re culled from records warped by years of sitting in an attic (an image also brought to you by the record’s hazy, Mono production), and the wonky structure of its opening suite “Better Water” suggests the hippie-warbling excess Exorcism could’ve easily devolved into. But as the EP progresses, these cracks begin to reveal the sincere, very real character hiding underneath the saccharine signifiers. The little winks that pepper Exorcism’s excellent second half make it practically interactive. “Mold Spores” was already assured its place as the album’s best tune before the chuckle that slips through its second verse makes its glee infectious, as if we’re being let in on whatever great time Power Animal are scoring. By Exorcism’s eponymous closer, we’re sharing the record’s smile.
 
It could be a more “conventionally” pretty record, but it’d be worse for it. This ambitious kind of pop has a tendency to become weightless in its nostalgia-bating, and while Power Animal certainly capture the comfort nostalgia offers, they also capture its insubstantiality. Built from bits and fragments of pop-eras past, Exorcism sounds as if it could break apart at any moment. It holds together, of course, but as music that sounds like it wants to save the world through sheer positivity goes, Exorcism accomplishes something far more impressive: It actually manages to inspire the feelings it evokes.
 
You can purchase the album HERE, and all profits from digital sales will be donated to Philabundance, a local charity organization that provides food to the needy in the Philly area. - Adam Downer
 

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