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Creature II: return of the beat 

Montreal band whose slick mix of pop, dance and hip-hop wowed at Summer Rush reprise at the Seahorse this week-end.

Montreal's Creature emerged from its recent tour of China feeling like "we were part of a new scene," says drummer-vocalist Sid Sanforlin. Beijing only has about four clubs for indie bands, and Creature played two of them. "The second night was 500 Chinese people, and people were eating it up. It was amazing to see them mix '60s music, like The Doors, with punk rock and jazz and bossa nova. Imagine, these kids are not only learning who Nirvana and the Stones and maybe even The Beatles are, but punk stuff, like the Ramones and Sonic Youth." Not a "jeans and t-shirt kind of band," Creature must have had heads spinning, with its slick mix of pop, dance and hip-hop. No Sleep at All features songs like "Who's Hot Who's Not," laying old-school De La Soul rhymes over new wave synths that could have come from Yaz's back catalogue. According to Sanforlin, who grew up with The Clash, each member brings different influences. Guitarist Kim Ho's "biting sound" is "rooted in the blues" and keyboardist CowBella "fell in love with this guy at 16 years old, moved to a trailer park in Florida and learned all about hip-hop."

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