The rowdy trio of Washington punks known as Soggy Creep put out their Worry Lines ep last month. They are much closer to Criminal Code than Bone Sickness, emotional volatile without being aggressive. It resonates with Bleach-era as much as it does In the Flat Field; in fact, even strains of the early Get Up Kids come to mind in the way the singer pours himself into reaching for the notes. Worry Lines sets off on the darker footing of “Nocturnal Life”. The vocal approach places heavy emphasis on the “punk” in post-punk. The darker elements are all invoked in way the chords are allowed to ring out with an underlying unease and the drummers groove-tensed restraint. If not for the deliberate pacing of their drummer, this could have easily devolved into “one, two, three…go”.
The bass leading into “Behold, Bile” is somewhat death-rock, but nowhere as lavish in it’s Halloween worship as other Christian Death devotees in the recent death rock revival. This is also where the flannel really shines out from under their black trench coats, as the grunge influence comes on stronger. It must literally come with the territory, considering the history of their homestead. Soggy Creep grows more caustically emotive on the slower stomp of “Ghost House”, but they are also is haunted by Cobain’s ghost. This surfaces again as they recklessly let the chord linger, as well as the minor walk down after the chorus carries a little grunge in it. It seems their spookier elements tend to lie in the basslines. The guitar “solo” is a dissonant excursion into melodically manipulated feedback that drives back to the chorus.
The bass player once again takes control on “Further Down”, which allows the guitars to get rather rock ‘n roll. The death rock elements color the song with vague shades of other organic rock bands like the Cult and the Estranged, who have a dark side but are not immediately thought of as goth. Their dark side is further dispelled once the flannel is back out with it’s foot on the monitor, despite the more macabre underbelly some of the chord progressions might hint at. There is also a dab of horror punk influence, maybe a little Lords of the New Church, but more generous helpings of the Dead Boys.
This ep will make you eager to hear what these guys might do on a full length. At times they put a heavy foot on the gas when it comes to the more rock ‘n roll guitar solos, but this is balanced out with the passion they pound into these songs. It could be debated until the bats fly home what makes Soggy Creep punk, goth or whatever, but not unlike the Estranged these guys have really shaken it all together and spit it out with enough attitude that you really don’t care once it sucks you in.