Creeper have spent the past few years carving a reputation for themselves as a band to watch. They have released 3 well received EP’s and gained a reputation as a formidable live band. 2017 sees the release of the Southampton mob’s debut album ‘Eternity In Your Arms’. Granted that even before the albums release, almost half of the songs on the album had already been released on streaming sites, however, the anticipation for something special was high and that anticipation was not, in my opinion, misjudged. The album is slick, really, really slick. The production really does make these already remarkably crafted songs soar. Creeper are not a band who settle for the mundane road most travelled, they have lofty ambitions for their band that may be above their station at this point in their career, however it is these ambitions that will catapult them to worldwide success. There is a flare for the theatric on this album that must be applauded for the fact that bands these day don’t have the stones to try something as outlandishly OTT as some of the material on this album.
The album opens strong with Black Rain, its piano ladened spoken word opening already bristling with a filmic quality that sets the outlying theme of the record suddenly bursting into rock guitar histrionics that can’t help but raise a ‘frickin cool!’ grin, boasting one of the most singalong chorus I have heard In recent years, it’s an exceptionally positive way to kick a debut record into gear. Poison Pens bursts into Hardcore punk group vocals over buzzsaw guitars that bring to mind the work of AFI in their Nitro heydays, driving and aggressive, it kicks ass.
We are in recognisable ground for the next four tracks as they have all previously been released prior to the record coming out. Suzanne again shows just how talented Creeper are at crafting songs with choruses to die for, hook ladened, memorable and eminently singalong in nature, I must say that I did prefer the original Don Henley inspired chorus to this song but due to apparent legal matters this has changed for the songs album release which is a shame. Hiding With Boys contains some of the most wonderfully mixed harmonies on the album with a driving beat that can’t help but provoke head nods no matter how hard you may try not to. Creeper display a talent in structuring a lot of words perfectly into the melodies of their songs, a talent they share with another influence that I noticed in the vocal delivery on this album, none other than Meatloaf of all people. Misery sounds to my ears as if it has enjoyed a re-mix and master but not re-recorded from the EP sessions (I may be wrong there), the sound of a Hammond Organ in the background of the verses complimenting the song well, it does sound larger & grander on this record for sure.
Down Bellow is perhaps one of my favourite tracks on the album, again displaying their innate ability to craft melodies and harmonies to die for, all in their debut album! It really is a impressive feat to pull off. Room 309 kicks in reminding me very much of a young My Chemical Romance around the time of their debut album, all driving beats and emotive lyricism with a nod toward hardcore punk but with a more melodic bent. Crickets is incredible and is my actual favourite track on the album which surprised me as it is the track that is most unlike anything else on the album and perhaps the most conventional song in this collection, keyboard player Hannah Greenwood takes vocal duties on this track and wow! Actual goosebumps, her vocal power is both startling and impressive, accompanied by simply a guitar and violin with subtle backing vocals, it is gorgeous. Darling is a brilliantly crafted punk track with an undeniable Alkaline Trio vibe but not enough to be accused of plagiarism. Creeper do share a lot of similarities with the bands that influence them but delivered with their own style and presence to avoid being called copyists, they are most certainly their own beast. Winona Forever is a fun slice of punky pop and playful swipe at Johnny Depps Ill advised Winona Forever tattoo. The band choose to close Eternity In Your Arms with I Choose To Live, a more subdued offering than prior tracks on the album and it’s weakest, perhaps one I wouldn’t personally have picked to close to the album but considering how strong everything preceding it has been I think that can be forgiven.
Creeper has achieved much with their debut album, it is incredibly crafted, wonderfully produced and will gain them a lot of fans. Roadrunner need to run with this band and push them with all their might as they could be huge. The preceding 3 years have given Creeper the tools they required to make this album possible, to refine their talents to the point of damn near perfection. The EP’s were the rehearsal, Eternity In You Arms is the frickin show.
Creeper’s Eternity In Your Arms is available now on Roadrunner records.