Creature Creature – ‘Two Finger Tantrum’

By Andy Joice

It’s unusual for a folk-punk band to change their style and release one of the most interesting and dynamic albums we’ve heard this year. And yet, for 40 Shillings On The Drum, their debut album ‘Two Finger Tantrum’ is such a departure from their folk sound, they’ve rebranded themselves to Creature Creature to reflect the monster they’ve unleashed. And good god, what a monster.

Opening with the punchy ‘Four Star Blackout’, Creature Creature give us just a hint of what to expect from the rest of the album, with coursing melodies and deceptively witty lyrics. Built around the passion of sticking to your beliefs and driving your expectations, its layers are deceptively deep, with subtle indicators that could lead it to be career, personal, or even romantically driven. With some tricky guitar work, plenty of keys and drums, and a chorus that sticks like melted cheese, it’s an opener that delivers with ease.

‘Beggars On The Street’ started its life as a folk-punk track before the attitude was cranked up, and its roots are obvious throughout the track. Vocal harmonies and a chuggy keyboard base relay an ongoing tragedy that’s rife throughout Brighton – the scale of the homeless population – as well as the arrogance of people who are outwardly dismissive of others in plight. There’s a snarky tone from front man Scully, whose indictment of the mistreatment of other people is almost spat directly into the microphone.

Absolute crowd pleaser ‘Cocaine Charmaine’ is a guaranteed party starter, with more hooks than Brighton’s leading tackle shop. A slow builder that eventually leads into pure, unadulterated chaos, it’s a mess of rhythms, clever lyrics, and a wallop big enough to knock down a brick wall.

With an intro that creeps into one of the most memorable instrumental hooks on the record, ‘Mean Streets’ is the longest track on the album, and with a hell of a message in the chorus – “these mean streets are mean / I could’ve been anything but the stain won’t scrub off”- it’s perhaps the most contagious of all the tracks. The feeling of being stuck in a negative cycle of mistakes is replicated by the rises and falls of the rhythms throughout, and manages to solidify its intent perfectly.

While the likes of ‘Cocaine Charmain’ and ‘Mean Streets’ offering some of the heavier output, ‘Safety Net’ acts as a palate cleanser between the two. Much softer, its gentle nature works in perfect contrast to its message as Scully sings about the oppression of the working class from the upper tiers of society. His soothing tones are laced with poison, yet because it’s stripped and bare, it doesn’t sound overwhelming cynical – more a haunting admission of how the working classes are kept on the lower rungs.

Closing track ‘Saturday Night Slaughter’ is directly inspired by the Robert Miles track ‘Children’. The story goes that Miles created the track in the 90s to help slow down club nights in the hope it would help reduce post-night out accidents. ‘Two Finger Tantrum’ ends in a similar way, slowed and delicate enough to calm the previous nine tracks. Although they’re prominent throughout, it’s here the vocal harmonies are most noticeable, accompanied by gentle piano chords. Ending almost mid bar, it’s a close that feels almost too early, adding a sense of intrigue and a desire to start the whole process again.

As a debut album from a band who are trying something totally new, it’s an outstanding effort. Creature Creature manage to up the ante with every track, bouncing from the technically difficult to crowd pleasing songs in a matter of minutes. There’s so much depth, you’ll be finding new points of interest on every listen. Creature Creature are destined for big things. Unleash this monster as soon as you can.

ANDY JOICE

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