With nationwide buzz from their first two singles alone, there is a lot riding on Gradient, the first extended release from young quartet The Creases – who are led by Joe Agius and Jarrod Mahon. Teaming up with Brisbane super-producer Simon Berkfinger (of Philadelphia Grand Jury renown) this EP is a collection of lush garage pop sounds from start to finish.
The EP kicks off with the lead single ‘Static Lines’. This tune sounds like it was made for an American mid 80s prom night. With simplistic and catchy songwriting, sentimental lyrical themes, banging four chord structure and just the right amount of cheesiness, this song sets the tone for the rest of the EP.
‘How Long Till I Know’ would appear to be somewhat of a homage to the shoegaze influence that subtly sneaks its way into the rest of the EP. The opening riff sounds like it was picked up from a My Bloody Valentine release from the early 90s. Credit should be given to producer Berkfinger for this track – its lush guitar tones almost border on synthesizer territory while a rhythmic groove glues the song together throughout. Unfortunately, Aguis’ vocals aren’t as strong on this song as they are on the rest of the EP, but the intricacy of the parts keeps the song both interesting and alive.
The highlight of the EP is the title and closing track ‘Gradient’. Its driving bass line and tight drum part set this song up as a summertime Brisbane pop number. This is a song that really takes off when played live, and it would appear they try to capture this by use of squealing feedback laid over heavy echo and delay. This song, although perhaps two minuets too long; aptly encapsulates what its like to see The Creases live.
The debut EP from The Creases is full of neatly structured songwriting, crunchy guitars, cheesy teenage observation and a groove to set any stage alight. Although not overwhelmingly original, it maintains top-notch production and a little heart and soul – something missing from a lot of garage music these days. Gradient is a promising start to what will hopefully be a long and fruitful career for the Brisbane four-piece.