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Creature Feature- Erik X and Curtis RxWith Halloween so many months away, we’re always on the lookout for more landmarks to help us make it through the year. Back in September we wrote about the impending debut album from the fantastically creepy Creature Feature. Five months of nail biting later, Curtis and Erik have finally unleashed The Greatest Show Unearthed upon the world. Like Halloween, it was well worth the wait.

The album immediately sets the mood with the pop and hiss of an old recording, a ghostly circus calliope, and a monologue from Curtis’ dastardly ringmaster character. Suddenly, you are entering their Dark Carnival, wide eyed for the wonders that might be in store. The musical depth of the album is established a few moments later, as the duo manages to create a rich combination of music, character voices, and assorted sounds that seem to come from an entire circus full of ghouls. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Curtis and Erik write, perform, record, produce, mix, and master all of their own music “without any help from outside sources”. While they have both been in bands before, such a well-crafted debut album, especially one that was independently released, is a rarity. Every aspect is top-notch, from Curtis’ vocal range and fiery guitar solos to Erik’s deft use of the keyboard and various electronic background sounds. Their extreme dedication to following their vision, unhindered by a record label or other “handlers”, is undoubtedly responsible for the solidity of the album.

The Greatest Show Unearthed albumCreature Feature definitely has a focus in the macabre song topics that it explores, but unlike most bands with a theme or novelty aspect, their music has a versatile range. Borrowing from rock and electro they have created a sound that is beyond a simple “gothic rock electro” hybrid. They’re very visual artists and each of their songs invokes a mental image and feeling that draws the listener into their storyline. When you listen to Aim For The Head, you’re tempted to check your windows for the scraping fingernails of the undead. In Such Horrible Things, each of the wicked transgressions comes to life, and yet invokes a little conspiratorial smile from the listener. Their love of B-movies and vintage Sci-Fi à la Ray Bradbury flavors the entire landscape of songs, and in the near future it should spill into the music videos and movies that they are dying to create.

Around Halloween, the search for creepy tunes often leads even the most musically discerning of us to trite standbys (Monster Mash anyone?) or bands that are well-themed but unappealing musically. With Creature Feature you get the whole package: an album perfect for a Halloween party, but catchy and meaty enough to earn a place in your daily CD rotation. Grab a copy of The Greatest Show Unearthed for $15.99 post-paid through their website.

Posted on February 18th, 2007 in
Halloween Entertainment, Spooky Art by Lauren
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