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I get the feeling, 'American Smile' and 'Tell the Man' aside, that I'm hearing the same song on repeat. With each new listen, Creepoid give me déjà vu about where the songs were placed on Cemetery Highrise Slum the last time I gave it a spin. If this were a painting, Sean Miller and company would have grabbed the largest brush available and poised themselves for one long, slow scrape across the canvas.

Is this a bad thing? Focusing on the high points and aforementioned keepers tells me no. I've been singing 'American Smile' aloud ever since the first time I heard it. It's one of those infectious tracks that plants itself on the mind like few grunge tracks can do: "Cough at the moon/fill your lungs/cemetery highrise slum" is sung with the gusto of a Nirvana hook; each syllable exquisitely complementing the other. But, Creepoid merely take cues from Cobain and others, and never approach a rip off. Their slogging style pulls me in despite the album's mostly static tracklist. This isn't to say that the band couldn't have employed more hooks, but its immersive qualities help me to forget anything I might be missing.

Like a combination of Kim and Thurston vocals, 'Devil in the Subtext' continues to lurch Cemetery Highrise Slum forward with indistinct vocal lines over a driving, shaker-like drum pulse: "I think I'm gonna spread it out." Creepoid do just that on the following 'Fingernails' which slows the pace before CHS traverses too many desert miles without taking the time to fully absorb the barren landscapes. Here and on many other places, washy guitars clear a void that lengthens the album in simultaneously exhausting and illuminating ways. 'Seams' appears after, and offers little repose as Miller admits that "all of this is nothing! Nothing at all!" It's the longest track on the album, and it makes 5 minutes feel more like a lifetime.

On 'Shaking', it's more difficult to hear the lyrics than anywhere else. After getting through this album a few times, it becomes clear that this was the intention. With such tired atmospheres, slow meters, and heavy whammy bar usage, direct wording wouldn't have done the band much good. It makes the lyrics that are discernible that much better. When Miller exclaims on 'Tell the Man', he's so covered in scorn and fire that I wonder how he was able to harness the gurgling spit in the back of his throat so well. Creepoid want their listeners to feel everything at once.

After, 'Worthless and Pure' bores and tricks me into thinking I'm listening on shuffle again. There are so many jangly, unstable guitar melodies, I'm not sure I needed 11 tracks to gather the themes. There's a drum part in the chorus that breaks up the droning, but it's mixed legato and EQ'd very low; putting the drums in a place on the tonal spectrum that's already occupied by guitars and bass. A biting, less-resonant snare tone would have saved the track. By the time 'Eating Dirt' and 'Here' close us out, I feel like strong opiates are in order.

In spite of its sequencing, every song on Cemetery Highrise Slum is individually good. Whether they're jumping from grunge to punk to shoegaze, Creepoid know exactly what kind of band they want to be. Miller said that CHS "feels like their very first record." If nailing down a style and making it your own is the criteria for a collaborative effort, then they've succeeded. With everyone in the band working on a similar affective level, they now seem ready to move forward as a unit. However, they're going on tour, and we may have to wait a while before we see that progression.

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