Philly-area singer-songwriter Richard Bush had a big hit with his 80s band The A’s, and the rock of that era clearly still inspires him. A Free at Noon performance today by his current outfit The Peace Creeps was filled with melodies and wordplay reminiscent of Elvis Costello, plus the bravado of J. Giles Band — big riffs, bigger solos, no fear of showmanship.

The band was showcasing their latest album, last year’s Social Studies, and it seems to focus a lot about fizzling personal connections, from the bitter romantic scorn of “She Shoots to Kill” and “Day Drinking” (where Bush sings “I’m not thinking about you / I can’t stop thinking about you”) to ruminations how to relate to other humans in general in 2020.

“This is a song about how difficult it is to talk to people sometimes,” Bush said in his introduction to “The Weather.” “Especially in these times when everything is polarized…” “Bipolar!” somebody in the crowd shouted, prompting Bush to laugh, and continue “…and all we can talk about is the weather.”

The song is told from the perspective of a moderate person who is comfortable in their life and doesn’t want to engage with the discomfort in the world around them: “Don’t wanna talk about IRS, or inequality in wealth / I’m sick of talking about the liberal left, I wanna talk about myself.”

The song’s raw licks and fiery leads were fitting complements to the locked-in energy of the Peace Creeps in general, which roared on “Serpentine” and “Too Much, Too Late” as well. They’ll be back in the area to deliver more on January 18th when they play Randy Now’s Man Cave in Bordentown, NJ. Check out photos from the Free at Noon show below.

The Peace Creeps 1.10.2020

Day Drinking
The Weather
She Shoots To Kill
Too Much, Too Late