Friday, August 17, 2007

Creeping Weeds- We Are All Part Of A Dream You're Having

here is my review of Creeping Weeds' We're All Part Of A Dream You're Having. it will appear in the next issue of The Raleigh Hatchet. (I added a paragraph, and Amanda fixed an awkward sentence to the original draft)

Like waking up to find Patrick Duffy in the shower, or when Lisa Simpson grew a world from her baby tooth in a bowl of Coca Cola. Philadelphia’s Creeping Weeds are impossible characters singing songs from deep inside of dream sequences. The music is shambolic, yet carefully layered thus recalling obvious influence Modest Mouse. Yet Creeping Weeds aren’t trying to be Modest Mouse, thankfully. No one’s yelping or trying to wrap their head around the entirety of existence in this band. Not that that’s a bad thing, but you know, things like that are best left to the professionals. The press release that accompanied this CD told me to read it if I liked The Beatles, Modest Mouse, or Neil Young. Read if I like the Beatles?! Read if I like cake on my birthday?

The stand out song of the album is the seven-minute "Derelict", tick-tocking it’s way into a twisted, ass-less funk riff. Xylophones and sitars pop up unexpectedly in the slow build of the song, echoing surf guitar leads the bass into the final minutes, where that funk riff finally gets an ass and starts shakin’ it. Then it starts slowing down, sounding like the last sputters of that perpetual motion machine that you were sure would work when you dreamed it up last night. I’m not sure why I keep coming back to the idea of dreams when I listen to this album. Is it the suggestion of the title, is it a concept album that I’m not listening intently enough to? Is there brilliance in a concept album that floats in the ether? That doesn’t announce itself? Or is this just a regular, dreamy style album, and I’m reading too much into it?

We Are All Part of A Dream You’re Having sounds like the second album that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah wanted to make. It’s more rounded out than the unbalanced experiments of Some Loud Thunder. The shifts from serpentine epics to lilting country numbers isn’t jarring, it’s smooth and considered. Even inside that lilting country number, "Our Country Home", moves made here seem natural, that, in other hands, would seem like hammy parlor tricks. At one point in "Our Country Home" they abandon the back porch for the angular rocking of the rest of the album, only to drop back into the countryside for thirty seconds at the end of the song. Creeping Weeds move about the album like it’s a perfect mix tape. That one where you got that perfect transition from "Get On The Good Foot" to "Swordfish Trombones".

Creeping Weeds have made a strong debut that stands above other entry-level indie rockers. There’s a sense of ease in their playing, even at their most wound-up. The musicians play together like a relaxed conversation between old friends. This album hints at the bigger things that they are capable of, not unlike the hints of that first Modest Mouse album, with a similarly long title.

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