Release Date: Jun 23, 2015
Record label: Collect Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Shoegaze
With Creepoid, there is a sense that all roads have led to ‘Cemetery Highrise Slum’. Leaving aside the fact that the record represents a shift in circumstances for the Philadelphia quartet - it’s their first as a full-time band and their Collect debut after time on No Idea - it is a fine encapsulation of their alluring, unsettling blend of melody and misanthropy. As its title suggests, Creepoid aren’t all that enamoured with the world around them.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. I get the feeling, 'American Smile' and 'Tell the Man' aside, that I'm hearing the same song on repeat. With each new listen, Creepoid give me déjà vu about where the songs were placed on Cemetery Highrise Slum the last time I gave it a spin. If this were a painting, Sean Miller and company would have grabbed the largest brush available and poised themselves for one long, slow scrape across the canvas.
Cemetery Highrise Slum is the third LP from downcast '90s revivalists Creepoid. Since forming in 2010, the Philadelphia indie quartet has honed its textural pastiche of spacy noise rock, grunge, and shoegaze over the course of two EPs and two full-lengths. Fronted by singer/guitarist Sean Miller, who occasionally splits vocal duties with bassist Anna Troxell, Creepoid work in a disconsolate haze of tweaked guitar tones nested over slow-burning rhythms that rarely bust out of low gear.
Philadelphia rockers Creepoid headed down to Savannah, Georgia about a year ago, and the change in environs can be felt on their new album. In addition to recording the LP, they “just avoided winter,” drummer Pat Troxell told Philly-centric publication The Key. Though they’ve always worked with a dark slowcore approach, Cemetery Highrise Slum feels like trying to walk through the Savannah summer, the air hanging heavy and slowing every step.
If you're familiar with Philadelphiaâ€™s Creepoid, then you're well acquainted with their knack for slow rock songs, foreshadowing all sorts of doom and gloom. They maintain that foreboding sense of approach musically as they dial things back a notch under Cemetery Highrise Slum. It's less heavy than I anticipated but lyrically, some of their most complete and fleshed-out work to date.
Midway through their new album, Creepoid's Pat Troxell proclaims that he is "So sick, so worthless" before waiting a beat and offering: "What you see is what you get. " It scans as the Twitter bio of an ornery teenager, but this Savannah-via-Philadelphia band are well-versed in the art of translating "the feels" into a dissonant mix of grunge, psychedelia, and shoegaze, a chameleonic sound that's enabled them to tour with everyone from alternative rock bands (the Kills, Balance and Composure) to spacey outfits (Wooden Shjips, Marriages) to punks (Against Me!, Refused). Misery loves company, after all.