Topiary Creatures, or Tope Creach as they are affectionately known, are used to doing things by themselves.

The San Francisco-based band have booked their own shows, including (this might be the oldest that anything I’ve written has ever made me feel) a festival inside Minecraft, designed their own (excellent) artwork, and, last month, released their own (fantastic) debut album on their own label.

It makes sense to have their own words describe the record then. According to frontman Bryson Schmidt, ‘Tangible Problems’ is 11 tracks of “thrashy, sparkly, intricate indie rock”. According to me, it’s a record full of clever arrangements and unexpected moments that wonderfully walks the line between emo and pop punk, and walks it tall and full of confidence. There’s a reason Chris Teti, guitarist from The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, agreed to produce it.

The band’s name, inspired by a retro video game, was initially chosen as a moniker for Schmidt’s solo work. He has been writing music for almost a decade now and appeared alone and as part of a bunch of different bands (Embering/Chloroform Playset) but has expanded this project into a five-piece.

For fans of Prawn, Empire! Empire!, and relentless independence.

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