Creatures of the Golden Dawn

An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge

by Stephen Haag

10 August 2006


The Creatures of the Golden Dawn seem perfectly content to be a band outside of time. Their convincing psychedelic garage sound would’ve landed them a slot on the original Nuggets compilation had they been around in the late ‘60s, and it would’ve also garnered them a slot on the ‘80s-era Children of Nuggets garage revival set, had they been operating then. As it is, today’s scene isn’t quite as amenable to the Creatures’ jangly garage—Zeppelin-y stomping garage seems to be the more prevalent trend—but that doesn’t stop the Pennsylvania fivesome from having a blast on their latest, An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge (though I’m not sure what the title, a slight tweaking of an Ambrose Bierce short story, has to do with psych-garage). The band starts by knocking four consecutive garage gems out of the park—the swingin’ opener “Arbat Row”, “Seeing Things”, with its swirling keyboards, “Jump on You” and “Little, Little Lies”—it’s amazing these aren’t cover tunes, because you’ll swear you’ve heard them before on old garage comps. From there, the band keeps having fun, tossing in a few obscure covers from the past 40 years of garage history (Love’s “Laughingstock”, Tintern Abbey’s (!!) “Vacuum Cleaner”, the Lyres’ “Don’t Give It Up Now”), some surf riffs (“Fade to Black”) and an update of the Seeds’ “Can’t Seem To Make You Mine” (“Tried So Hard”). The band makes no effort to reinvent the wheel, which no one expects them to do anyways. Ultimately, garage fans don’t care what year the calendar says it is, as long as the music a band is playing can kickstart a party. Revivalists—some would say slavishly so—through and through, the Creatures are guaranteed party starters.

An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge


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