Friday, 11 September 2015

Indian Handcrafts - 'Creeps' (Album Review)

By: Phil Weller

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 02/10/2015
Label: Sargent House


The consistency of the record is well, well above par too. Every song has its own unique character and sense of self. They never repeat the same formula or trick – they simply don’t need to rely on any form of cyclical cop out – and no track is starved of quality alongside the rest of the pack.

‘Creeps’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. Down At The Docks
02. It's Late Queeny
03. Murderers For Hire
04. Brothers Underground
05. Maelstrom
06. Snake Mountain
07. The Divider
08. Degenerate Case
09. Rat Faced Snorter

Indian Handcrafts is:

Daniel  Allen | Guitars, Vocals
Brandyn Aikins | Drums, Vocals


The Review:  

This album is all about riffs and groove and it flies by in an instant. With the majority of songs being snappy, melodious to the point of envy and overflowing with deft, infectious nuances, there’s a real wham-bam-thank-you-mam mentality behind it. They blend the bounce and bombast of doom’s forefathers with the fidgety shriek of Melvins styled vocals excellently on ‘Down at the Docks’, those vocals really coming to life during a seismic dynamic shift which they pull off with a flawless ebb and flow. As an album, ‘Creeps’ is fun, packed to the rafters with great musicianship, has more hooks than a fishing emporium and is incredibly easy to listen to. And honestly, I could leave the review there. Job done, I’ll put the kettle on and wipe my hands of this – because, really, that’s all you need to know. If this paragraph doesn’t scintillate your intrigue, then I do believe you’re on the wrong website (Smash Hits is that way, champ).  

Maelstrom’ has a surging, addictive chorus; ‘Its Late Queeny’ a piledriver of a song, racing along a dusty desert road like Kyuss with The Butthole Surfers hot-boxing the boot, (trunk for our American readers). ‘Murderers For Hire meanwhile channels ‘Blue Album’ era Baroness staggeringly well, heavy, tom orientated drumming clattering about in the background showcasing a drummer who refuses to simply drive the bus.

But it’s on ‘Maelstrom’ where things get interesting. Five tracks in, this is the first time the band deviate from the same kind of rapid fire, take no prisoners song writing that has made Motörhead such a legendary act, here drawing a song out, creating a hypnotic odyssey alongside short-lived, murderous anthems. Across the second half of the song’s span, they dive into deeper, darker and gloomier ocean waters with slow bubbling doom riffs. It’s the first time they really challenge the listener; beforehand it had simply been domino effect of whiplash compositions that go by in an instant and seem to make no effort to convince you of their brilliance yet manage to all the same. So here they welcome you into another one of their dimensions and, having duly grabbed your attention by the scruff off the neck, they go about showing you around a more divergent gathering of songs.

Snake Mountain sounds like Wolfmother’s evil twin sister, with sinister, scorching vocals and bleak atmospherics with one riff in-particular coming across like a more devilish ‘The Joker And The Thief’. The opening riff of ‘The Divider’ is oddly intrinsic; its galloping guise and earworm melodies sound warmingly familiar from the off. For that, it’s absolutely inspired, even if the verse vocals do at times sound a little but too much like ‘The Trooper.’ But that’s only brief and more and more hook-laden sections soon steamroll in, sinking their metallic pincers deep in your skin. The lead guitar in the final throes is magnificent and when it all builds back up for one final cacophonous spin of the wheel, I was left screaming “this is fucking amazing!” and for good reason.

The consistency of the record is well, well above par too. Every song has its own unique character and sense of self. They never repeat the same formula or trick – they simply don’t need to rely on any form of cyclical cop out – and no track is starved of quality alongside the rest of the pack.  ‘Degenerate Case’ is the shortest and arguably the heaviest and most fun of the record, it barges in like a runaway freight train and ends a complete and utter beautiful disaster of gang vocals, tribal drumming and all round decibel hammering.    

But I think I’ve banged on about this record enough. Just check it out and thank me later, because, trust me, the music speaks perfectly eloquently enough without my superlative laced gibberish. And besides, I fancy a beer…

FFO: Melvins, Kyuss, Early Baroness, High on Fire

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