Creekside fails to Summit with ‘Hills // Valleys’

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With angsty lyrics and intermittent breakdowns, Creekside’s album “Hills // Valleys” perfectly fits the pop-punk template. This local band is more than capable of creating music that sounds familiar to any former emo-kid. It is certainly impressive that a band of Chico students are creating music of the same caliber as any Warped Tour performers. My one complaint is that the music sounds a little too familiar. The tracks and the lyrics both lack an element of originality.

Songs like “Broken Shards (ft. Tyler Watt)” feature angry lyrics – perhaps about an ex-girlfriend or former friend – which fit the industry standard for pop-punk lyrics. The track, “5 & I,” which pays homage to what one might call the party hub of Chico, also follows a similar formula in terms of lyrics and melodic guitar.

My least favorite track on the album is the “Interlude.” While it seems like it was meant to be a light break from all the angst, I’d say the instrumental melody missed the mark. Instead of showcasing the band members’ musical abilities, the song sounded like background music for a transition in an early 2000’s teen drama.

While this album seems a little like generic pop-punk, it doesn’t mean that it’s not good music. A lot of pop-punk music become infinitely better when performed live.

Three out of five stars.

Anna Porretta can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.