First things first: please ignore the fact that Fishboy have a truly terrible name. I know first impressions count for a lot, but aside from their dire moniker, they really are worthy of further investigation as Classic Creeps is a genuinely fine album.

Classic Creeps is, for want of a better word, a concept album, all track titles beginning with the letter “A”, which tells a slightly ridiculous story about time-travelling brothers, authors-turned-private-eyes and an owl that thinks it’s in love with people (the whole story is told in a rather ace comic at the albums official site, linked above). Musically, the band veer towards the nerdier end of the indie spectrum, with singer Eric Michener’s cracked vocals near identical to Atom And His Package vocalist Adam Goren. Songwise, the structure owes a debt to They Might Be Giants, with the songs carried on a playful melody and Michener having a quirky way with a tune. Opener 'Aaron The Afterthought Astronaut' sets the tone for the album: the tale of an over-concerned man who is constantly trying to come up with back-up plans in case he needs to find his girlfriend, it’s a tuneful blast of indie-pop with Michener’s vocals overlapping as he details the hero’s various plans.

The album continues in this vein until the story comes full circle with the epic finale 'Ava Aviaria' a more solemn affair that shows a different side to their sound. The strength of the album lies in the fact that, despite all the songs being interlinked, each is strong enough to stand up as an individual song in it’s own right and lyrically works as a stand alone tale.

Although I personally loved the album, I can understand that others will be less favourable towards it. Michener has very much a love-it-or-hate-it voice, slightly high-pitched and nasal. Others may find the whole thing slightly too clever by half. Those who do fall for it, I suspect, will fall for it hard. It’s a witty, warm-hearted and ultimately fun record, and one that will surely find a satisfied audience.

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