Man, Creeper Lagoon know how to build anticipation. When I Become Small and Go was released a couple years back it stood as one of the best Indie Pop albums of the year but still felt a bit incomplete. The San Francisco-based group (which features ex-Cincinnatians Ian Sefchick and Sharky Laguana) delivered that album with the general knowledge that they had signed to Dreamworks Records and would have a proper full-length out "soon." Now, some two years later, we get Watering Ghost Garden (Spin Art), a mere six songs long. But what an amazing six songs. Maybe some will show up on the full-length, but the fact that they all won't is staggering.
The EP opens with "Centipede Eyes," which showcases the atmospheric, slinky Pop they showed on earlier works, but most of this record shows how far the band has come and how much further they can go. "Roman Hearts" is a beautifully emotional song that lifts like the hopes of an aching lover, while musically interweaving sweeping strings and piano to match the mood perfectly. Perhaps the most startling track here is the Jerry Harrison-produced "Big Money Struggle," which could make a serious run for radio hitdom, with it's ultra-catchy hooks and powerful guitar punch, making the band sound kinda like the more-talented little brothers of Third Eye Blind (believe me, that's in a good way). The ability to forge deeply constructed and emotionally connected songs out of the Pop format isn't the easiest thing to do, but you wouldn't know it from listening to Creeper Lagoon. The group's Dreamworks debut is due early next year. If these songs are at all indicative, we already have an album of the year for 2001. The big teasers.
At Mad Frog on Sunday with Lazy Rocket.