It's been a couple of years since Bay Area combo Creeper Lagoon played locally in support of their austere, angular I Become Small And Go disc. That album led to a deal with Dreamworks, which, in turn, has kept the quartet in-studio working on a new record.
Acceptable explanation for a prolonged absence, but expectations were nevertheless high given their remarkable, albeit slim, catalogue.
Hopes were further stoked by the emergence of a new EP -- Watering Ghost Garden, available via spinART. So it seemed likely the foursome, given a simpatico crowd like the one gathered for the Dandy Warhols, would use the gig to quote the EP, test out new material and throw a bone to those who love their quietly mesmerizing stuff and miss them dreadfully.
Likely, maybe, but not at all how things turned out.
Evidently, Creeper Lagoon is of the mindset that since no one knows them anyway, it doesn't matter if they roll out mostly new material. Bad move, since much of it seemed fuzzy and it was being introduced without the nutty studio bells and whistles (belt buckles, Bic lighters, marimbas, samplers) that make their records so charming. Add to that the stapled-to-the-floor demeanour of singer/guitarist Ian Sefchick and guitarist/singer Sharky Laguana and you've got a snooze on your hands.
Omitting benchmark songs like Sylvia and He Made Us All Blind was unforgivable and just plain dumb. If the chorus of boos that started going up around four songs in didn't offer a clue that they should be playing their best hand, then the perceptible disinterest of those up front -- who, in fairness, might well have been positioned for the Dandy Warhols -- sent the message loud and clear.
Creeper Lagoon are a very special group -- alternately subtle and catastrophic and at their best, utterly unique. At the Guvernment Wednesday, they were just another lo-fi rock band -- Pixies cover notwithstanding.
CREEPER LAGOON, opening for THE DANDY WARHOLS, at the Guvernment, October 11. Tickets: $15. Attendance: 900 (sold out). Rating: NN