Album Review: Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms

 

 

Creeper
Creeper

Creeper
Eternity, In Your Arms
Roadrunner Records
2017

Creeper’s debut record is both the start and the end of something great. It’s difficult to decide which is the more exciting. So let’s start at the beginning.

Following their successful show at Reading Festival last year, Creeper fell silent. The individual members all deleted their twitter accounts, and ceased communication with fans. Thus began a several month long campaign. This, pre-planned in full, was a dual effort to both create hype for their forthcoming first full length album, as well as create a running fan-integral storyline, that would feed into the concept of the new album Eternity, In Your Arms.

The bands website got a makeover, transforming into a mysterious, cool-as-fuck ‘coming soon’ page, complete with cult movie images and curious, but engrossing quotes. The band released faux but authentic seeming missing reports for its members, again feeding in to what would become the central theme of a missing person story of “the disappearance of James Scythe”. Clues were released in snippets on social media websites and on the website itself, allowing fans to directly engage with the band and the material being released. A phone number that when called would provide a voicemail message with directions that when followed would lead to further clues. A scannable code here, a puzzling quote or reference there, all was by design.

Last Friday saw the final combined payoff of this seven-ish month long campaign, and the release of the album has set a new precedence. A bit like the killer John Doe states at the end of the film Seven, Creeper have set an example, what they’ve done is going to be puzzled over and studied and followed forever. It’s a new way of releasing an album, involving the fans, to create something that is more akin to an event, the way huge blockbuster video games are released today. And what an album it is.

At only 36 minutes runtime, it’s a brief listen, but within that time is packed a whole cornucopia of ideas, influences, bangers, and potential. Kicking off with single ‘Black Rain’, which itself intro’s with a gospel choir, the song has a gothic alt-rock quality, and sets the tone. ‘Poison Pens’ and ‘Suzanne’ follow the trend, the former utilising gang chants and a faster almost youthful punk rock energy, the latter with lush dual vocals. Each is strong and has a retro 80’s rock vibe thanks partly to lead-man, founder and band mastermind Will Gould’s earthy yet operatic style vocals (to describe his singing, the word ‘Meatloaf’ has been thrown around).

‘Hiding With Boys’ is a ready-made classic (the title is a nod to and a parody of the bands manager, who used to play in a band called Hiding With Girls), making great use of keyboardist Hannah Greenwood’s keys and back vocals. It also has a killer catchy chorus. Halfway through, ‘Misery’ provides a rock ballad respite, and although taken from the bands earlier E.P The Stranger, it is a welcome treat here. The song is nothing short of an anthem, its wonderfully macabre, emotion heavy lyrics and powerful singalong chorus are immediately powerful and beautiful, building to a spine tingling climax.

Later on the pummelling groove of ‘Room 309’ sounds like a mixture of Rise Against and 30 Seconds to Mars, and via a mounting vocal duet fades brilliantly into the following track. The acoustic Crickets sees Hannah Greenwood on sole vocal duties, with hints of Paramore her impressive range shows off the bands for propensity for pop-punk moments.  Almost to solidify this, the album closes with the piano led ballad ‘I Choose To Live’, a traditional pop-punk finish.

If we stop to consider Eternity, In Your Arms in the context of a debut album, it is impressively fully formed. The gorgeous cover art, depicting a gothic, rain drenched neon city, complete with an

Mysterious lone figure facing into the distance, compliments the bands image and theme brilliantly. These five Southampton musicians have arrived in our world with a strong sense of identity as a band. Their logo, which adorns the back of  each members uniformly worn black denim jackets, and quickly growing fan base nicknamed “The Callous Hearts” both contribute to the sense that this “cult” band is already far bigger than the sum of its parts.

Comparisons, tentatively, have been made with a The Black Parade era My Chemical Romance. That bands mass commercial appeal, gaining them fans across the whole rock and metal fan base spectrum, is already shared by Creeper. That coupled with their striking Gothic image – also something mastered by MCR – when considered, leads us to very exciting potential conclusions. Eternity, In Your Arms doesn’t have quite the same quality level of songs that say, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge has, but this is only the beginning. Stay tuned, for next time, they might be the next big thing.

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