The Cubby Creatures — After the Deprogramming

Reviewed by david

San Francisco's Cubby Creatures have been releasing music in some incarnation or another since 1997, following in the tracks of Elephant 6 alumni such as the Apples in Stereo or the Olivia Tremor Control. However, the Cubby Creatures have veered off that beaten psyche-pop path to explore territory in a noisy, though excessively accessible environment, pushed into new boundaries by Emily Davis' effortless violin work, and strengthened by the group-wide songwriting efforts.

After the Deprogramming comes in as the band's second full-length, and their first release since 2002. Overdue, yes, but these songs span the past two years of the band's existence, and for Cubby fans, the long wait will have been well worth it. The thirteen tracks found here could be considered the sprinkles on the cupcakes of 2005 indie rock. Well, if there was such a thing...you get the point.

The band finds themselves creating fuzzy throwbacks to 60's pop, not a far cry from the Zombies or the Kinks, and while the Cubbies don't pull off the sugary vocal harmonies of their influences, the clever violin work, combined with the lighthearted glow of the songs in general, make the album (or at least the band) a definite highlight on your list of bands to check out.

Standouts from After the Deprogramming include the frolicking pop of "Pawn Takes Queen," and the calling out of indie elitists on "Song for the Secret," but the album in its entirety is a blissful excursion into smart indie rock that avoids the condescension found so often in this scene.

May 24 2005