Freshkills – Creeps and Lovers (CD)

The two styles that are distinct to Freshkills’ sound on “Creeps and Lovers” hit listeners from the opening of the title track. This means that the styles that Freshkills brings to this disc clash and struggle for dominance from the opening bell; there is an early-eighties Talking Heads meets goth (The Cure, Joy Division) type of sound in the vocals and some of the guitars that goes toe to toe with a much more straight-forward, retro-looking (Interpol) type of sound that the rest of the band creates.

There is a lot of fuzz throughout “Future in Publishing” that individuals have to wade through to get to the vocals or instruments on the track; this atmosphere does not really lend itself well to the band, instead acting mostly as an impediment to the furtherance of their sound. Still, there is a little use in talking about this fuzz, as the band continues their look back through the eighties and simultaneous enjoyment of bands as diverse as Bauhaus, Interpol, and Radiohead.

While each of the songs on “Creeps and Lovers” come far in telling a story or creating a distinct sound for the band, there is little marketability for Freshkills. This is not to say that the tracks lack harmony or a certain charm, but there seems to be a barrier between the band and the listeners that is largely created by the dry (and at times, fuzzy) production of “Creeps and Lovers”. Freshkills is another band in the retro rock movement, and while their efforts on “Creeps and Lovers” are not as embarrassing as the latest work of The Strokes, there is little that individuals can find throughout “Creeps and Lovers” that has not been covered by the end of the first track. There seems to be some hope for the future, as “Hot Ex-Wife Action” brings Freshkills into the camp of acts like At The Drive-In; the driving guitar work that takes place at points during the track blends this style with the driving emo of acts like Jets To Brazil and early Appleseed Cast. As it is, the disc is solid but still needs that spark – that mark in the clay of the band to make their efforts into living and breathing flesh. Freshkills will surprise on their next album, but “Creeps and Lovers” seems like a framework that provides the band with a guide with where they would like to ultimately go with their music.

Top Tracks: Hot Ex-Wife Action, If Things Don’t Change

Rating: 4.7/10

Freshkills – Creeps and Lovers / 2006 Arclight / 9 Tracks / http://www.fresh-kills.com / http://www.arclightrecords.com / Reviewed 27 April 2006

[JMcQ]

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