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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: Get Disowned - Hop Along

Album Review: Get Disowned - Hop Along

A simple interwoven electric guitar riff accents rough, acoustic guitar strums, and then singer/songwriter Frances Quinlan’s wispy, lilting vocals enter the equation like a glimpse of sunlight parting the clouds of an overcast sky. Thus, begins Hop Along’s latest full-length album Get Disowned.
 
Opener “Some Grace,” a subtle bare-boned introduction, shares a bit of the fragility and vulnerability that can be found in Quinlan’s lyrics. The song morphs into faint electronic bleeps dissolving into a serene calm. However, the pending storm arises with the following track and the album’s lead single “Tibetan Pop Stars,” which cuts through the tranquility with boisterously dirty power chords and rolling thunder drumbeats. Once again, the vocals seem to play peacemaker, a calming force among the turmoil. That is, until the chorus takes flight, then falls to earth with the repeated lines “nobody deserves you the way that I do,” which gradually rises from the ashes of a broken heart. “No Good Al Joad” is paced by steady downhill bursts of acoustic guitar that is pierced by the interloping hammer of a pickaxe electric guitar. Quinlan’s vocals strain in an effect that expresses the emotive tug and pull of the narrative. This all comes to a head after a brief percussive interlude, which captures the ear signaling for audience participation. She reveals, “You are my favorite, because you are a long shot. You are my enemy, because you forgot.” This is just before pulling back into a corner to protect herself as she gathers the strength to share a bit of philosophical wisdom and universal truth: “Everybody is a little hard to love sometimes.”
 
With the precise production work of Algernon Cadwallader’s Joe Reinhart, Get Disowned is a balance between agitated artillery-style rock with intimate, late night confessional vocals that dig their nails into your skin while simultaneously whispering sweet nothings into your ear. Despite the constant presence of distinctly tenacious guitar thrashes, Quinlan’s lyrical message remains a priority. It is often aided by the fact that the vocals are directed at the listener. In this manner, Hop Along invites us into an emotionally turbulent household leaving no curtains drawn or door locked.
 
You can purchase Get Disowned via Hot Green Records. Hop Along will also be celebrating its release tomorrow night at The First Unitarian with Bandname, Little Big League and Mary Lattimore. - Michael Colavita

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