Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Creeper Lagoon - I Become Small and Go (Nickelbag, 1998)

Creeper Lagoon's debut album showed a band in transition; it retains some of the Pavement-esque lo-fi elements of their early EP and Sub Pop Singles Club 7", but is also more polished, due in part to the sample-heavy production from The Dust Brother's John King (known for his work on Beck's Odelay and The Beastie Boy's Pauls Boutique). The record, however, is neither Pavement-soundalike nor retro sample-fest ala Beck. Instead, it is a collection of excellent moody, hook-laden indie rock. In fact, this record serves as the link between their earliest indie releases and their major label followup, 2001's "Take Back the Universe and Give Me Yesterday", released on the Dreamworks label (where the band would move into full-on Third Eye Blind-esque slick pop rock).

Creeper Lagoon boasted the songwriting duo of founder Sharky Laguna and Ian Sefchick. The two had played together in a punk band during their high school days in Ohio, before Laguna moved out to San Francisco to start Creeper Lagoon initally as a solo project. Eventually, Sefchick reconnected with Laguna in SF after a brief stint as a member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. After releasing a five-song EP interestingly through the hip-hop indie label Dogday, the band caught the attention of Dust Brother John King, who signed the group to his label, NickelBag records, and lent a production hand to several tracks on the record. Former Sammy and Girls Against Boys member, Luke Wood, also worked on the album, and would later sign the band to major label Dreamworks records while working as A&R at the label (these days Wood is vice president of A&R at Interscope). As the story so often goes, the band's major label debut did not live up to expectations, and the 'ol Lagoon just sort of disappeared for a while. More recently Creeper Lagoon has resurfaced, but has reverted back to being largely the solo project of Sharky Laguna. You can pick up the most recent Creeper Lagoon record, "Long Dry Cold" at the website of Neglektra Records - the digital label founded by Laguna. And while Ian Sefchick's voice is sorely missed, he briefly fronted a band called On The Speakers, who released one EP in 2004 that was "licensed to Universal" and can still be found on the iTunes store.

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Creeper Lagoon playing "Black Hole" live in London circa 1998:

1 comment:

e said...

their whole catalog is pretty darn enjoyable... Take Back the universe is my favorite, but i'm a pretty huge 3eb fan