Creature Comfort – Echoes & Relics

Creature Comfort have a great sound. A few seconds of their music paints a lush picture of the freedom and hope of the oncoming summer. Instantly, this is a place you want to be. So, first impressions are good, but how does the EP as a whole hold up?

Creature Comfort are a four piece from Nashville, Tennessee, but there is nothing country about them. This is, I suppose, broadly indie music like a cadet Fleet Foxes (debut album Fox Tales illustrates Creature Comfort’s debt to Fleet Foxes) although confining them to the genre sells them short. Their sound is very now and you can imagine them playing on an episode of Jools Holland. Their promotional material references Weather Report and The Beatles but these are not honest comparisons and serve only to highlight Creature Comfort’s shortcomings.

These songs wander without getting anywhere. It’s not that the four and a half minute tracks are too long, it’s that they don’t tell a story from start to finish. I am initially delighted in turn by each track yet find myself bored about two thirds the way through. The Beatles wouldn’t have done this with this material, they would have stopped short of the three minute mark. The production is adequate but like many recordings it is in the drum sound that you can tell how much money was spent.

There’s some great stuff here. The musicianship is slick and joyful right across the band. A Pink Floyd-esque guitar solo stands out as particularly accomplished and there are some nice moments of sparkling keyboards. The bass shows great movement and leadership and the drumming is solid and serves the band well. These are talented musicians I would like to see play live.
This is a decent release. To interested listeners I recommend you put it on a few times and let it brighten your life. If you’ve been listening to Fleet Foxes all winter and need something for the summer then this is for you.

If the band happen to be reading I would say tour this as hard as you can, pick up as much momentum as possible and then go back and have another go. Creature Comfort have the talent to make a significant record, but this isn’t it. Don’t be disheartened, this is better than the sophomore releases of many bands that went on to greatness. The question is, do you have the drive and determination to get there? I hope so, because your talent could enrich the world.