Local psych-grunge rockers Creepoid
’s latest LP Cemetery Highrise Slum
is immaculate. The follow-up to 2014’s self-titled album, which just dropped today, marks yet another monumental moment for the four-piece: their first release with Geoff Rickly’s Collect Records.
Opening with the somber “American Smile,” Cemetery Highrise Slum’s start is instantaneously lush. Equal parts dissonance and melody, “American Smile” is comprised of just as much emotional juxtaposition as its namesake might suggest. Crisp chords paired with buzzing riffs bleed effortlessly into Sean Miller’s affecting diction as the track’s lyricism emanates a sense of decayed longing that is difficult not to discern. Reminiscent of Sunny Day Real Estate’s grittiest portions of How It Feels to Be Something On, “American Smile” is delectably heavy and persistently transcendent up until the very end.
“Devil In The Subtext” wastes no time, captivating listeners with a percussive pulse and jarring backbeat. The swirling psychedelics of the album’s second track are nearly tangible, showcasing Creepoid’s meticulous orchestration and sparing use of reverb. The song exhibits itself as a well-deserving successor to grunge anthems like Sonic Youth’s “Sugar Kane.” The enjoyably emotive downer, “Fingernails,” unfolds as hauntingly moody, while “Seams” swells to life with deliberate phrasings and lingering harmonies.
The noisy start to “Dried Out” revives the best of ‘90s alt without feeling cliché. The lyricism of the song is wrought with harsh realism and pragmatism with confessional lines like “We’ve been living a lie” and urgent pleas like “Show me the real you,” crooned out with a similar desperation as Cobain’s “Heart-Shaped Box.” “Shaking” is dreamy, like a gloomy lullaby or bittersweet ballad. It is affirming, vulnerable, and earnest, an unapologetic declaration in its own rite, and “Calamine” is charmingly melancholic - synonymous to earlier tracks from Creepoid’s previous LP, like “Baptism.”
The trippy tempo of “Tell the Man” brings to mind similarly mesmerizing cuts like The Pixies’ “Gouge Away,” while presenting itself as a plausible narrative extension of The Velvet Underground’s iconic “I’m Waiting For the Man.” With “Worthless and Pure,” the band proves itself to be subtle yet raw, preparing listeners for Cemetery Highrise Slum’s conclusion that is marked by the suitably abrasive “Eating Dirt” and the otherworldly “Here,” which temporally paint a bleak yet memorable soundscape.
Cemetery Highrise Slum is indicative of its creator’s genius. It, like all that came before, is a declaration of why all eyes and ears need to remain on Creepoid. - Dianca London Potts