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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: We’re Here to Help - Notekillers

Album Review: We’re Here to Help - Notekillers

Listening to an instrumental outfit can sometimes seem off-putting. There’s a certain tedium that most fall to - a recurring loop of indistinguishable murmurs, buzzes, and kicks that drone on into oblivion. Really, it can get pretty damn boring if you’re absolutely restless and need some type of vocal interaction - or if you’re just not into musical circle jerks. Fortunately, though, instrumental avant-rock trio the Notekillers fails at the ennui and mundane on their first full-length, We’re Here to Help.
 
We’re Here to Help was over 30 years in the making. The dual-habituating Notekillers (they’re from Philadelphia and Brooklyn) thrashed it out with the superlative no-wave instigators in late ‘70s New York City, only officially dropping the self-released 7-inch, The Zipper. The record unknowingly culled major players as fans for the trio. Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore cited the Notekillers as a “big influence” for him and others in his evolving music scene in an interview with Mojo Magazine (the trio eventually made an archival release on Moore's Ecstatic Peace! label).
 
We're Here to Help, released on Prophase Music, is both an extension of and break away from The Zipper. Its erratic behavior is more developed, but still has that experimental free-spirit which helped to shape a generation and music genre. There's chaos and there's refinement, zeal and calm. We're Here to Help is a multi-layered and complex album made up of star-burst moments that fly every which way in bright spurts, but there's still a very distinct pattern. While fierce, wild arrangements are always present throughout this nearly 40-minute effort, not every song is a sonic freak-out like the album's definitive track, "Flamenco" - a raucous number where the guitars shred furiously to the point of a high-pitched fever and havoc is unleashed on the skins. "Eyelash" curls to the surf rock mystique that the Notekillers might be best known for, with rumbling guitars and rolling drums powering into a catchy, rhythmic melody, and if this track strikes your fancy, then face-melter "Papers" may have the angular riffs and walls of distortion that are here to help make your day. We're Here to Help proves that the stigma of instrumental rock is something to be defied. - Annamarya Scaccia

Eyelash by Notekillers 

Flamenco by Notekillers 

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