Southampton based horror punk band CREEPER have been plotting for months on the announcements and build up for their first full length album, Eternity, In Your Arms, with an interactive mystery complete with unsettling phone calls and missing band members.
Anyone with any vague interest in rock music has heard of CREEPER and the disappearance of James Scythe through their introduction to the new album which has spread across every social media and caught the interests of people from all over the world. It all started after their performance at Leeds Festival last summer, after which the band disappeared, social media pages were deleted, missing posters appeared, and there were a lot of questions. Over the next few months, fans were drip fed clues, a website with information on The Callous Heart group in Southampton, and the paranormal investigator James Scythe who disappeared from The Dolphin hotel. A phone number which, when phoned, played the message “On 2nd October 2016 we will die holding hands.” The date in question was the premier of Suzanne, and the formal announcement on the new album.
Every song released in the build up to the album release has added a little bit to the story. The Black Rain music video shows James Scythe investigating the mysterious group skulking around Southampton with matching back-patches. It also is the first time pianist Hannah Greenwood has prominent vocals on any track, even if it’s just a line in the chorus, but her ‘So darling, just you shut your pretty mouth’ adds another layer to the track, and blends fantastically into the overall sound. Suzanne was the first song released, and contains the by now familiar ‘we will die holding hands’ line. One aspect of Eternity, In Your Arms is the way it has brought a lot of people together, built a very loyal fan base and community, even before its release and this is in part due to the relatable lyrics. In Suzanne this is ‘All those radio bands never made me feel … Can music save your mortal soul?’ and the chants of ‘now?’ which are going to be fantastic live.
All of the songs on Eternity, In Your Arms are new CREEPER material, apart from Misery which anyone who has seen them perform live will be familiar with. A slow, self-deprecating song that has been a hit with the CREEPER fans and adding it to the tracklist will ensure it remains prominently on their setlist – get your lighters and singing voices ready! Room 309 is the heaviest track on the album, with a more punk feel, faster drum beats and heavier riffs, paying homage to their heavier influences. Towards the end it slows to just Hannah and Will Gould’s vocals, which in turn is replaced by crickets to introduce the next track. It doesn’t feel as natural to their sound as the slower, more delicate tracks, but isn’t out of place at the same time.
Crickets again showcases Hannah’s singing, this time taking the lead on a more country style, and surprisingly acoustic, track. CREEPER‘s lyrics tend to be relatable, down to earth, and Crickets is no exception as Hannah discusses a past love who ‘was my dream, now my nightmare’. Teenage/young romance is a theme throughout the album, Hiding With Boys contains the line ‘loving you is killing me’ and is well executed through Will and Hannah’s vocals, powerful guitar riffs, and heartbreaking lyrics.
The album draws to a close on the hauntingly beautiful, and hair-raising I Choose To Live, a cheerful song to remind listeners of all the things to live for: ‘But life don’t seem as dark when I sing with you’. Many of CREEPER’s lyrics are on the macabre side, even if the sense of unity from them is positive, so it’s a refreshing way to end the album. It shows awareness from the band of their audience and the implications of their music, whilst again showing they are not limited by one idea and sound.
CREEPER haven’t just created an album, they’ve created a story and a brought a huge number of people together in the process. Their gothic image and lyrical content is creating a new sub-culture. The album showcases a range of abilities from CREEPER, and would serve as a good introduction to anyone unfamiliar with their work. It also tells us that there is a lot more to come from this Southampton sextet, whose album managed to live up to the months of build up and story telling.
Eternity, In Your Arms is out now via Roadrunner Records.
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