With all the concern around climate change these days, I am sure that someone somewhere, when Googling ‘Sea Level’ accidentally came across the song and/or album by Urban Creep. They probably ignored the suggested result for their search and went off trying to find out how much the sea level has risen since 1900 or something. And while being concerned with the planet is undoubtedly a noble thing, those who glossed over the link to ‘Sea Level’ were missing out on something.
Urban Creep were a post-Voelvry, just about post-apartheid band that signed to the all important Shifty Record label. The band consisted of Brendan Jury (who went on to form Ohm), Chris Letcher (of Van der Want & Letcher fame) Ross Campbell and Didier Noblia, the latter 2 having been in Landscape Prayers. They played a Waterboys influenced punky-pop with an ethnic twist of which the title track to their debut album, ‘Sea Level’ is a good example.
Starting out with the thud of miners’ gumboots (complete with bottletops attached for that tambourine sound) these are quickly joined by Jury’s honky-tonk violin and the song begins to race along with Letcher’s vocals having that punky edge to it. The bass that underpins the song has a township feel and occasionally there is an interjection of township guitar which accompanies lines like ‘still got dust on my tekkies’ which firmly roots the song in South Africa.
It’s worth checking out more than just this song by The Creeps, they have 2 albums full of great tracks, but hopefully if you ended up here while looking up the effects of global warming, you may be tempted to take a few seconds out to enjoy what’s on offer with Urban Creep and ‘Sea Level’. You never know it might just be your mood that rises and your emotions that are warming.
Where to find it:
Sea Level – Urban Creep (1995), Shifty Records, BANGCD009