Article by KevW
It was probably a no-brainier for garage/freakbeat phantoms The Creeping Ivies to unleash a compilation of tracks on October 31st. Many appear on CD for the first time and are lifted from various releases the band have put out thus far. 'Your New Favourite Garage Band' might be a bold statement, especially as the album's title (mind you, The Hives' UK debut was a similar compilation called simply 'Your New Favourite Band'), but you wouldn't mind betting that for a good few people, that will be the case. With some records made solely for US labels, this will likely serve as an introduction to The Creeping Ivies for many, despite the fact that they're based in Glasgow and have been around since 2011.
First becoming known to this site with the bare-bones, unrelenting single 'Spinning' back in summer 2013, it was this year's pretty darn amazing 'The Witch House' EP that really made them a group to take notice of. That track, with its great riff and reverb-heavy vocals opens the album, so immediately it's off to a flier. 'Black Cat' follows and is rougher around the edges with a more basic but no less effective punk sound, and, later, 'Buggin' Around' is another relatively simple track, but the fuzzed-out guitar and minimal production ensure it's exciting. Some songs are a little cruder, perhaps resembling a female-led version of The Monks (by the way, if that concept sounds interesting, then it's worth checking out all-girl Monks cover band Ye Nuns). 'Don't Cry' could fall into this category, as could closer 'Chicken Voodoo Blues'. Simple, repetitive guitar and drums have rarely sounded as well used as on the likes of 'The Ghost Train' with its spine-tingling howls. 'Rock 'n' Roll Party' is about as primitive as we get, but, due to its very nature, this makes for a raw and impassioned thrash around.
When The Creeping Ivies are at their very best is when they allow themselves to be that bit more tuneful. 'Head To Tail' is still one of the more rugged tunes here, but the surfy intro and gravel-voiced howl from singer Becca Bomb are given a neat melody to play with and a scuzzy but ace chorus. Likewise, 'What Would Joey Ramone Do?' bears more than a resemblance to his band, taking that same girl-group influence and wrapping it around some top proto-punk. The gorgeous 'Bye Bye Babe' was a highlight of their most recent EP and remains one here, again taking the sound of '60s girl groups to serve up some real ear-candy, and 'Only The Moon' from the same release indicates that The Creeping Ivies are only getting better and better, embellishing their music a little more but without losing any of their natural charm. You'll be hard-pushed to find a better garage-style track in recent years than 'Forever Leather' which is the sound of Phil Spector colliding with Blondie and getting a Cramps obsession. It really is a fantastic tune, and it's worth buying the album for this song alone, but the bonus is that you get another dozen high-calibre, addictive, rough-hewn gems to go with it. Your new favourite garage band? Well, they're certainly mine.
The Creeping Ivies' website
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