Thursday, June 12, 2014


Do you remember when Triclops! played Total Fest VII? They're one of my all time favorite acts. It was strange and somehow accomplished merging punk and prog into something that worked beyond belief. That album still sits as part of my monthly rotation. It was a bummer when they called it quits, but out of those ashes formed Peace Creep. Although the sound is fairly different, it's equally successful. They describe their sound in a series of playful hypotheticals: "WHAT IF Neil Young were on SST records wearing a dress onstage while playing Meat Puppets/Dinosaur Jr/SNFU covers. WHAT IF Hawkwind/Husker Du decided it would boost each other's careers to do songwriter workshops in tropical locations. WHAT IF San Francisco was still really cheap to live in and Hickey, Jerry Garcia, Gary Floyd and Steel Pole Bathtub all shared a practice space and recorded everything, " Peace Creep covers that ground as well as a vast array of terrain that feels more like a frantic, crack fueled Johnny Appleseed reaping his rewards than any itinerary with a planned return trip. There are landmarks, but everything is so blurry and frenzied that all you can do is hold on and hope that the landscape stabilizes just enough that you gain a vague sense of orientation.

They're long time rockers with a few excellent projects, in addition to Triclops!, under their belts (Anywhere, Pins of Light, and Bottles And Skulls to name a few) and recently released a record on Alternative Tentacles (a small label you may have heard of). It's an exuberant and thoughtful affair that exploits the raw energy of punk while mixing in psychedelic overtones, a banquet of guitar riffs, and enough sludge filled tempos to keep you happy and wanting more. I've only been stalked by a mountain lion once, and it was one of the most disorienting feelings I've ever had. Circling across the trail, lurking in the early evening shadows, appearing to keep its distance as it closed ground. I'm not saying Peace Creep establishes a predator / prey relationship, but their songs keep you on your toes, guiding you into the oblivion of shared experiences that shatter your locus of perception. The uncertainty is wonderful once you're not eviscerated and you find the comfort of something familiar. In a way, Peace Creep uses music to offer up a series of questions and decidedly refuses to provide answers, challenging you to fill in the gaps to determine what it is you've actually witnessed. There's a moment of rage involved when you fail to sculpt meaning, but it's also a welcome reconfiguration of the boundaries you erect. Stability is a proven facade, and Peace Creep assaults it with a polymorphous zeal that dismantles the scaffolding.

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