Band: Fat Creeps
Label: Sophomore Lounge [LP] / Gnar Tapes [CS]
Sometimes people have a habit of associating music with a particular season or climate, but you see listening to the Fat Creeps is an everyday kind of musical experience. This is hardly anything new! From their early days when they readily donned costumes and frequently changed guitars and instruments up through the more subdued times of late, Fat Creeps’ sound has remained about the same: indefinable, but always rocking – sometimes straight up pop, sometimes far more strange!
The first recordings of the Fat Creeps – their self-titled EP released in 2012 and later issued physically by us KLYAM Records and their two song Feeding Tube split 12” with ZEBU! – are peppered with all waves of punk and surf-pop with guitarist/vocalists Gracie Jackson and Mariam Saleh often singing in harmony or trading lines. Those two songs, “Dad Weed” and “Daydreaming” appear 1-2 on Must Be Nice, the band’s first full-length album released on Sophomore Lounge and GNAR Tapes. Their inclusion here is an excellent way to acknowledge their past and usher in some newer sounds. Third track “He Comes In Loudly” supremely shows off the styling and distinctions of Gracie and Mariam. In fact, this one sounds like a best of everything that the pair has done in their four years together. Gracie’s astounding and mumbly vocals on the verses meet up with Mariam’s haunting backing vocals before they so elegantly collide; Gracie ruptures into a brief solo before finishing the song as it started. After this most intriguing song and with good reason, Fat Creeps diversify their arsenal from here on out.
“In Name Only” is Must Be Nice’s “700 Parts,” a Gracie song for sure! Super chill, super hard to figure out what she’s saying, dreamy, surfy. “Blue” is similarly vibed, although it is markedly faster and here Mariam sings her articulate leads. Same is the case for the first two songs on SIDE B. “I’ve Got” is insanely hooky, the bass fuller than ever it seems and the guitars screeching in the old garage. The girls are up to trouble by the time those sludgy distorted four chords enter into the picture and someone’s won or warn.
Get ready to break out your best late ‘70s dance moves for “Party” and don’t be surprised if you catch your hip or not so hip mom, dad, grandmother, and sis causing their own raucus in the rumpus room. Take DEVO and the B-52’s for a point of reference. Fat Creeps certainly have the sweet ability of uniting the punks, the hippiesters, and the family accountant who will instantly reminisce of his days spinning The Gun Club’s Fire of Love at the college radio station. Must Be Nice has you toe-tappin’, head bobbin’ through and through, perhaps most unevenly on “Bak 2 School” – anxiety is high, but so isn’t the whatever factor. Just give me noisy guitars and a throbbing bass. No words necessary. In pure helmets and wedding dress Fat Creeps fashion, the band goes full circle, ending the album with their first song, their first video, the one that drew the acclaim of the Boston Phoenix and the rest of us. NANCY DREW. We got Gracie in our left ear, Mariam in our right, in this more minimalistic, poppy number with one chorus you ain’t forgetting anytime soon!
Noisy, surfy, garagey, who cares-y, Fat Creeps keep things light always. The spooky and haunting aura that has surrounded them since the beginning is only slightly demystified on Must Be Nice and hey, that sure is nice. I wouldn’t go up to them and start quoting their songs, but if I was you and you were me, I would attend every possible show of theirs that you can. And lastly, credit to Jim Leonard, who drummed on this record and all of Fat Creeps earlier offerings. His versatile and tight drumming is instantly recognizable, holding down the fort economically and just-in-time like an expert operations manager.