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Album Review: Creeper – Eternity, in Your Arms

After two years of friends asking me if I’d checked out Creeper yet, and my answer always being a solemn, slightly guilty, “No, not yet,” I have finally managed to check them out in time for the release of their debit album, Eternity in Your Arms. Safe to say, I’m kicking myself for not taking the advice of countless friends and looking into them sooner.

Creeper seemed to, well, creep onto the music scene. I saw them announced on tours and festival line-ups at an ever-increasing frequency, meanwhile social media began to buzz with excitement in the run-up to the release of their new music.

I was apprehensive that Eternity, in Your Arms wouldn’t live up to the hype that had followed Creeper prior to its release, but this offering from Southampton’s horror punk/goth punk band is certainly a strong one. It definitely proves that Creeper are deserving of their awards for Best Newcomer from both Kerrang! Magazine and Metal Hammer.

Creeper have that kind of vibe you get when you listen to something that is most certainly different. There are influences from glam rock and goth acts across the decades mixed in there, certainly, but they’re blended and combined in a way that is quite unlike anything I’ve listened to in a while. Musically, it’s reminiscent of old, old school My Chemical Romance (I’m talking I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love era), crossed with David Bowie’s extravagance. And it’s not bad at all.

Eternity, in Your Arms is an album about growing up and growing pains. Every song seems to look back at memories and compare them to a bleaker present day. Exes seem to be a common thread, with several songs explicitly addressing old partners and wondering about what could have been. Despite the similar lyrical content, the feelings of these songs still manage to be different enough to stop anything getting too samey. “Hiding with Boy” is full of angst, and feels more like it’s from the perspective of a frustrated and unhappy teenager. It’s followed by “Misery,” which almost sounds like it is narrated by that same teen, now older, more tired, looking back on their life.

Not that this is an overwhelmingly depressing album. The first section, up until “Crickets,” consists of reminiscing and remembering, but most importantly it’s about missing the past. Album opener “Black Rain” sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place in a funeral to begin with, but then kicks in with rapid drums and a killer guitar line. “Poison Pens” deals a lot in antitheses , from its angel/demon dynamics in the lyrics, to its mix of fast instrumentals and slower-paced vocals. “Suzanne” is a clear choice for lead single from the album, and showcases the careful blend of lead singer William Gould’s unique style with Miles’ and Greenwood’s backing vocals.

“Crickets” is, without doubt, one of the best songs on this record, and my personal favourite. It’s acoustic, with only a guitar and a touch of violins accompanying (usually) backing singer and keyboardist Hannah Greenwood’s vocals. “Crickets” allows Greenwood’s talents to come to the forefront. Her vocals compliment Gould’s perfectly, contrasting from his deeper croons with softer harmonies. However, she tackles lead vocals with ease, and this stripped back song suits her slightly rough-but-still-smooth style perfectly. It also serves as a break from missing the past, and instead moving on. “You were my dream, now my nightmare”.

“Darling” continues this trend, still remembering days gone by, but not pretending that they were any better off in an unhappy relationship when “darling, we all die alone.” It’s followed by “Winona Forever,” another of my favourites, and a song full of bitter foreshadowing that the girl’s name you want to get “in a heart tattoo” one day might turn a mismatched relationship.

“I Choose to Live” closes the album with a hopeful twist. After ten songs of dwelling on an unfortunate past, it is the one song that looks forward to better days, and better relationships. “Life don’t seem so dark when I sing with you,” perhaps might be a literal reference to the enjoyment the members have found in Creeper, or maybe metaphorically alluding to those better friendships and associations you have when everyone is older, wiser, and more mature.

Creeper have grown a lot since their formation in 2014, both musically and in popularity. They have an aesthetic fans can get on board with, and a concept behind their music videos and marketing  that is sure to keep people talking. But most importantly, they’ve got a new, exciting sound. It’s an update on punk that keeps it fresh, sharing enough in common with their influences that it has the capabilities to be appreciated by younger and older fans alike. Let’s hope they can keep this up in future releases.

Find Creeper on social media for more information on new releases and tours:

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Compositions - 9
Breaking Ground - 8
Engagement - 9.5
Lyrical Voice - 10
Production - 9

9.1

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About Laura

Long-time concert attendee/music listener trying to do something productive with their hobbies.

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