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the cubby creatures
after the deprogramming • rodent records • 2005

San Francisco four-piece The Cubby Creatures are a vintage-minded outfit, and on this loosely television-themed (and beautifully-packaged) disc, their second full-length release, they explore the gently psychedelic territory of post-Sgt. Pepper Beatles and the pop-oriented Syd Barret-era Pink Floyd tracks. Certain songs, like "Static Fuzz" and "Pawn Takes Queen," utilize Moog sounds and chugging guitar to an early-Stereolab-like effect as well. Despite the obvious influences, the sound is pretty distinctive, owing partly to the fact that one of the quartet is a full-time violinist. Bassist Brian Weaver takes over vocal duties from guitarist Bill Fisher on two tracks, "There's Always Now" and "Maybe It'd Be Better," and he sounds an awful lot like Richard Davies. The track "Song for the Secret" is a bit of a screed against scenesters, and there's a nice audio joke when the lyrics question whether "indie credibility" comes from "your amazing ability to buy the greatest records ever pressed to vinyl" and some subtle phonographic crackling can be heard under the music. There are a handful of brief instrumental/noise interludes that add some sonic interest as well. I like most of these tracks pretty well, particularly the Stereolabby ones and the jaunty pop of "Wallet" (where drummer Jason Gonzales takes his turn at vocals). Unfortunately, "Night Comfort Theater" ends the album on an off note, with some musical theatre-style guest vocals and semi-joking lyrics about some kind of late-night UHF borderline-porn TV show. That one would have been best left to be a b-side. (mike.11.05)


three stars

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