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Creature Feature premieres pre-hardcore sound

photo courtesy of CREATURE FEATURE
Creature Feature - Tucson's Creature Feature is all set to play their debut gig at Club Congress tomorrow night. Consisting of former members of the Bled, Sex Fatale and the Answer, Creature Feature is preparing to go into the studio at the end of the summer.
By Mark Sussman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, May 4, 2005
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"I was a roadie for Corrosion of Conformity," says Curtis O'Mara, singer for Creature Feature.

His fake answer to my real question sounds like some kind of joke low-budget horror movie, a creature feature in its own right.

We're in downtown Tucson at the Grill, and guitarist Derek Miller looks down into his drink.

"I tried to explain to him how this works. I hope you can convey to people how funny he really is," says Miller, smiling sardonically.

That's pretty much the dynamic. O'Mara jokes, Miller and bassist Mike Celi look at each other and wince. It suits them; sitting together at a booth, they sound like some weird, elderly ménage a trois.

But in one sense, Creature Feature is pretty much as young as a band can get: Their first show is tomorrow night at Club Congress. In another sense, though, they are veterans.

Celi is the former bass player for local hardcore band the Bled, who have since departed Tucson to tour. He resigned from the band six months ago. Miller and O'Mara were both in the band Sex Fatale, and Miller played in local hardcore outfit the Answer.

After being in so many bands with my friends for so long, it becomes tougher and tougher to break up with your band... It's like having three or four girlfriends.
– Curtis O'Mara, Creature Feature singer

But just because they've been in a lot of bands doesn't mean they like hopping from project to project.

"After being in so many bands with my friends for that long, it becomes tougher and tougher to break up with your band," says O'Mara. "You get better and better at being in a group, and then you break up and it's worse than breaking up with your girlfriend or your boyfriend. It's worse than that. And I don't want to do that again."

"It's like having three or four girlfriends," says Celi.

None of the three of them seems willing to let Creature Feature go easily. And even upon hearing a rough demo, it's easy to hear why. O'Mara's vocals have a kind of out-of-control merry-go-round quality. At any moment he sounds as if he could just collapse in a heap and burst into flames. Miller's guitar work is almost the opposite: precise, sharp and with more than a hint of Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi. Get Glen Danzig drunk and have him sit in with the Refused in their The Shape of Punk to Come days, and you're close.

But even that comparison summons the dreaded prefix "post." Post-rock, post-punk, and post-hardcore are terms that get thrown around by people who have heard the band.

"If we're going to be that broad, I'd much rather have the term pre-hardcore," says Celi, "just because a lot of our influences are just that: pre-punk, pre-hardcore. If we're going to sound like anything it's going to sound like something that's already dead and gone."

"I feel like post-hardcore sort of makes sense," says Miller, "if only because Mike is coming from a hardcore band and (Curtis and I) were in hardcore bands. I feel like that's a part of our past, and kids who like that kind of music might enjoy us. It's not really relevant to what we're doing, but because we're heavy, it's coming from that place."

It's pretty clear from talking to them that they feel uncomfortable with labels like these. Shifting in their seats, they eye each other, trying to find a way to articulate something that it's fairly pointless to articulate. They're brand new and they sound like it in the best way. That's something Tucson could use.

Creature Feature will be at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., tomorrow with the Crowd and Bark!Bark!Bark! Doors at 7 p.m. Cover is $5 and the show is all ages.

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