Prom Body: Creep the Strange

Let's get one thing straight: There is simply not enough room in a pithy album review to fully grasp even half a dimension of Prom Body's astonishing debut, Creep the Strange, so consider this a series of pointers before you, dear listener, take the inevitable plunge.

Michael Fay, drummer for instrumental post-rockers Sleep Like Trees, recorded this album on a cassette recorder at home by himself. At first, all that's apparent is the jarring noise and off-kilter instrument placement in the mix. After that, it's the mystery of what in holy hell is making those sounds? Is it a drum machine, a vacuum cleaner, or some psycho in his room who just dreamed it all up? Finally, you realize it's all that and more, because the noise is so exquisite, and the sound so alien, that you failed to notice that the songs are basically perfect.

Creep the Strange is possibly the greatest document yet to sum up the disparate cliques of underground rock music circa 2013. Prom Body takes alternative-rock, or indie, as it's now referred to, starting with R.E.M., on this side of the Atlantic, and the Jesus and Mary Chain on the other, and shoves it into a trash compactor until the sources are unrecognizable.

The most startling aspect of Creep the Strange is its all-encompassing breadth. Strike that: It's Prom Body's reinvention of the wheel.

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