Creeper – Eternity in Your Arms
Release Date: 24th March 2017
Label: Roadrunner Records
I believe that it is safe to say that 2017 has been the year of Creeper and my god do they deserve it. The ever-enigmatic band teased us into the year with a mysterious narrative about missing detectives and supernatural forces, inklings of the detailed lore surrounding the album. Headlining two of their biggest UK tours, performing on Warped Tour, as well as a number of lengthy support slots the band have leaped from strength to strength throughout the year gaining a multitude of new fans along the way. Eternity in Your Arms (EIYA) is Creepers first full-length LP since they formed in 2014, although the band have three stellar EP’s that I would heartily recommend anyone who enjoyed this album to immediately go and listen to. With an ambitious sound akin to the bastard spawn of The Misfits and Queen, Creeper tear, soar, and blaze through all thirty-six minutes of EIYA and with a dedicated ‘cult’ fanbase this album certainly pleased them as well as introducing a whole host of new listeners to the band.
Opener ‘Black Rain’ begins with an eerily vague voiceover introducing the ‘Callous Heart’ a mysterious entity within Creeper lore. Stories aside the song is one of many on the album which are the clear culmination of Creepers past three years; a punk rock vigour intertwined with stadium size choruses and a dash of theatrics. ‘Poison Pens’ is an unrelenting force of stabbing guitars and gang vocals, and one of the songs along with Room 309 later in the album which are more reminiscent of Creepers self-titled debut EP. ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Hiding with The Boys’ respectively were the first two new tracks to be released from the album and both are an excellent representation of the LP as a whole. Suzanne as a track is incredibly reminiscent of older punk and classic rock songs with its bouncy rhythm and rousing chorus.
Hiding with the Boys retaining those vital singalong moments leans closer to 80’s ballads evocative of Meat Loaf. Fan favourite track ‘Misery’ is the only song on this album which has been reworked for the album. Originally featured on 2016’s ‘The Stranger’ EP the track has been revamped to fit the aesthetic of the album and the track has never sounded better. The organ featured in the first half of the track is far more prominent adding to melancholic atmosphere, whilst the ever epic final third of the track sounds huge. ‘Down Below’, ‘Darling’ and ‘Winona Forever’ follow the now familiar, but fortunately not repetitive, formula of bouncy, danceable and downright catchy punk songs with huge choruses which of course sound incredible live.
Track eight, ‘Crickets’ is a standout song in that the vocals are performed almost entirely by backup vocalist and keyboardist Hannah Greenwood. This hauntingly beautiful song recounts the struggle to overcome one’s feelings after the breakdown of a relationship and is a welcome respite in an album more focused on the supernatural. Closing track ‘I Choose to Live’ is a call to arms more than anything, a cry against darkness and despair, themes which the rest of the album has dwelled upon almost exclusively, and whilst this may seem out of place it is the perfect ending to the album. Presenting a mournful, yet hopeful look towards the future the song musically feels a lot like the final track of a musical, with piercing brass and a huge crescendo, and as such is a fitting end to an album that soars, crashes and dances through a detailed narrative.
Visually and lyrically the band are so much more than just a punk band. With a deep lore centred upon the disappearance of a paranormal detective, a supernatural being known as ‘The Stranger’, and a shadowy group called ‘The Callous Heart’. A lot of this information has been fed to fans through complex online puzzles and ciphers showing just how connected creeper are to their fans and vice-versa, as well as in the preceding music videos for the album. However, whilst all of this content may be a fans wet-dream the music presented by Creeper is incredibly personal at its core, meaning that you don’t need to know the intricate back story in order to connect with and understand the songs.
With a sound that has been likened to the likes of AFI, My Chemical Romance, and Alkaline Trio, Creeper are clearly eager to leave these comparisons behind and forge their own path within the music industry and with EIYA I believe they achieve that. Each of Creepers preceding EPs built upon the latter, improving and perfecting their brand of theatrical punk rock; and this album is the natural next step of that evolution. With true punk moments as well as sections that would not sound out of place on a Queen record EIYA is a difficult beast to pin down and classify and it benefits from that fact, with wildcard songs like ‘Crickets’ and ‘I Choose to Live’ helping keep the record sounding fresh and unique. Creepers tenacity, drive and enthusiasm to both create amazing music that attracts a whole host of different people and also perform it incredibly in incendiary live shows that they are one of the most exciting acts in the scene right now and one I am very excited to follow into the future.
Favourite Tracks: Suzanne, Hiding With The Boys, Misery, I Choose to Live
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