In Boston’s smoky basements and smaller rock clubs, Fat Creeps have played tirelessly over the past year, surfacing as one of the city’s best new bands, with their dark, grungy riffs and distant harmonies. Their self-titled, self-released debut EP — released last month — teeters between the moodier, Mazzy Star-inspired end of the dreamy garage-pop spectrum, and snappier, deadpan grrrl-punk moments. It’s one of the most promising debuts I’ve heard recently.
The mid-tempo girl-gang vox on “Leave Her Alone” make for an instantly memorable song — one that I listened to on repeat for days when I first heard it. Over minor-key chords and surfy drum rolls, guitarist Gracie Jackson and bassist Mariam Saleh, both 22, harmonize on the hook: “If you love her / then leave her all alone / ‘Cause she’ll never forgive you / for what you have done.” ”Fooled” sees the two vocalists seamlessly trading lines about a relationship falling apart, like a ’90s-inspired indie-rock update to vintage girl-group conversationalists of the ’50s. “Some other force designed it,” sings Jackson. “Do you believe in that stuff?” asks Saleh. “A deck of cards defined it,” answers Jackson. “Don’t buy into that junk,” says Saleh. Elsewhere, “Secrets” and “Cherry” (video below) are short and snappy and inflected with punk shouts, while “Horoscope” is the poppiest of all.
The closing track, “700 Parts” finds the trio at their most melancholy — singing about “long drives” and “last ditch efforts” while slowly ending a relationship. “Does he even notice me / as I’m drowning in the driver’s seat?” sings Jackson. “I’m not hoping for an accident / I’m just looking for an exit.” Slow harmonies build on the chorus, with bursts of noisy guitars trickling through the end. “Every ending has 700 parts,” she sings. It’s one of the best songs here — and one of my favorite tracks of 2012.
Jackson and Saleh met in 2010, but didn’t start Fat Creeps until 2011, when they played their first show at a Thai restaurant in their hometown, Lynn, MA. “I feel like Boston is the place to be right now,” says Saleh. “There are all of these amazing bands coming out of leftfield all the time.”
Later this month, Fat Creeps head out of Boston for the first time ever for a quick four-date Northeast tour. Check out all tour dates below and stream their excellent debut EP. You can like them on Facebook, too.
09/21 – Allston, MA @ The Pill at Great Scott
09/22 – Providence, RI @ Ladyfest Providence @ Machines with Magnets
09/27 – Portland, ME @ Matthew’s
09/28 – Northampton, MA @ The Basement
09/29 – Bennington, VT @ Bennington College
09/30 – New York @ Cake Shop