Album Review: The Creases – Tremolow (2017 LP)

How can a song be anthemic if no one’s ever heard it before? The Creases answer that question in their stunning debut album Tremolow. While there’s been a lot of hype around this beloved Brisbane band since they formed four years ago, they waited until now to release their LP. One of the reasons was they kept writing better and better songs. And boy, was it worth the wait. This is a collection of songs so solidly constructed they couldn’t fall over if pushed.

These are instant anthems: songs that worm their way warmly into your heart and are memorable enough to sound like classics even if you’re listening to them for the first time. It’s a lesson in songwriting which the band seem to have taken out of the Britpop songbook. And they go straight to the head of the class. Triumphant horns, soul-soaring strings, head-shaking tambourine slaps and singalong choruses all add to the picture that is at once familiar yet fresh. Delicious chord progressions and verse-chorus switches keep the emotional drive of the songs strong until the end. This could be the soundtrack to your next favourite coming-of-age film.

Opening track “Answer To” sets the tone with its warm embracing chorus and uplifting harmonies. Single “Is It Love” sucks you in with a persuasive drum beat and keeps you going with its singalong na-na-nas. The final refrains are amplified by the soulful voice of Talei Wolfgramm (The Wolfgramm Sisters). Those soulful moments come in again with the gospel-inspired harmonies of “At Last You Find”. And it would be easy to forget you weren’t listening to a British record, until you hear the lyric about “moving down to Melbourne”. “It’s Alright” is another single-worthy song with a yummy chord progression and heart-snagging chorus. The cheekily titled “Asshole” is probably the sweetest expression of the sentiment ever heard. From the upbeat bounce of “Impact” to the heartfelt swoon of “Point”, there are enough hooks to keep you hooked until the end.

There are no bad songs here, except maybe the last one because that marks the end of the album. While Britpop has been around long enough to be due for a resurgence, it doesn’t seem to be a style that many younger bands are mining for influence at the moment, at least in this country. But the Creases take the mantle. UK reviewers, currently raving about the Charlatans‘ new record, their best in 20 years, should definitely listen to this. If a band’s debut is their calling card, then this is gold embossed.

Review Score: 9 out of 10. 

Tremolow is out now through Liberation.