Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: Creem - Demo 2011

I owe you dudes (and dudettes?) a review, but I just worked a 12 hour shift and want to wake up before noon tomorrow. So for now I'm going to give you a short, ripping review of a short, ripping tape demo. Creem are a Brooklyn band. They play hardcore that sounds very old but goes way beyond rote retro-fetishism. Creem has really tough, snarled vocals. Creem has Oi! influences. Creem spits nihilistic rage at traitorous friends. In these respects, they remind me a lot of one of my favorite 80s hardcore bands, Negative Approach. But I'm told by those in the know that Creem is mostly inspired by the Boston scene from the same era. I guess I should check that shit out.

As with most 80s hardcore, these tracks are very short and have a very consistent sound. Each one is a different way of working out the same fundamental set of musical ideas. So it's cool that, despite this homogeneity of form, Creem have written 4 songs that stand out from one another and will instantly have you singing along. My favorite, "Left To Say," comes out swinging with a brutally dissonant verse, the drums loping along at midtempo but working together with the guitars to drive the song hard. The effect reminds me of Japanese d-beaters Gauze, whose agenda was to "play slow but sound fast" or something like that. From there, though, it gets even better. The drums snap from kick-snare to kick-kick snare, laying down a thuggish thump under an elaborate and really catchy powerchord melody. Here the vocalist lends some inflection to his ranting, so that he's following the guitar without exactly doubling it. This produces a couple really cool moments of harmony (or something). "Left To Say" is a thrashing, misanthropic anthem that's also as catchy as any pop song.

But when you listen to a 4 track hardcore demo, you're not just listening to individual songs. You're really listening to the demo. And this demo rules. I could tell you about the other tracks, but I think you get the idea. Suffice to say that every time I finish this tape, I hit rewind and start again.

I believe it's sold out (I got one of the last 3, and you didn't! Ha ha ha!). But you can still buy Creem's equally killer 7-inch for the paltry sum of $4. Get it from the source. If you wanna download digital versions of these tapey sounds (and also of that killer 7-inch), head over to DIY stalwarts icoulddietomorrow.

P.S. The tape artwork is all photos of small children with guns getting ready to smoke pigs.

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