Personnel: Toshi Kasai, Elsa Allen, Eli Allen, The Rip Nancies, Jason Croke (vocals); Oscar Aikins (harmonica).
Audio Mixer: Toshi Kasai.
Recording information: Sirens Studio, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographers: Daniel Brandon Allen; Lukas Hodge.
Barrie, Ontario power duo Indian Handcrafts grabbed attention from hard rock and stoner metal fans with its Civil Disobedience for Losers, their sludge-drenched Sargent House debut. After an onslaught of touring, drummer/vocalists Brandyn James Aikins and Daniel Brandon Allen are back to pick up right where they left off -- or so it seems. They re-indulge their doomy Melvins worship on the brief intro "Down at the Docks." First single "It's Late Queeny" channels the heaviness of Kyuss and the stomp of Queens of the Stone Age. "Brothers Underground" has a distinct Sean Yseult-era White Zombie feel with a chugging bass groove atop angular guitar riffs and tortured screaming. Four tracks in, Creeps feels like a solid, though not necessarily more creative extension of CDFL. (This is just fine, by the way.) The record begins to change shape on "Maelstrom" without losing its spine-smashing momentum. The mood is darker, the guitar riffs more dissonant, and the dynamics shift from an ultra-viscous trawl before erupting with a double-timed drum kit blast and a squalling guitar solo. "Snake Mountain" is a midtempo choogler that weaves elements of death metal riffing and a Sleep-esque stoner lurch appended by sinister vocals, but the center gives way to a charging melodic crescendo. "The Divider" is stadium metal circa early Iron Maiden. It comes complete with a martial chorus vocal, acoustic guitar breakdown, and a melodic, electric six-string solo. "Degenerate Case" marks the return of the balls-out stoner sludge riffing on the set's first half. The only real head scratcher is the inclusion of "Rat Faced Snorter," a painfully slow, seven-plus-minute snail-paced closer. It's all detuned bass, tom-toms, and feedback that never goes anywhere. The record just runs out of steam on this bit of filler. Creeps shows growth while keeping the boss grooves of earlier records intact. Just don't forget to skip that last track. ~ Thom Jurek