Since Creeper appeared on the English music scene in 2014, they have experienced a massive amount of fanfare off the back of their three EPs, which showed a band with a singular vision of what they wanted to sound like and the potential to be able to back it up. While 2017 is only the fourth year of them being a band, they have already supported bands such as The Misifts and Pierce the Veil and are playing the entire 2017 US Warped Tour.
As you could imagine, the pressure to deliver a great debut album would have been huge and luckily enough the english horror punks delivered a massive album with Eternity, In Your Arms. Creeper blend a huge amount of influences in their debut album, such as David Bowie-esque glam rock, horror punk, post hardcore, 80s rock and pop punk all wrapped up in an extremely theatrical package. Eternity, In Your Arms has a very bombastic, dramatic quality that honestly isn’t seen very often in the music scene, with leader singer Will Gould stating that Creeper ‘want to put that over-the-top flamboyance back into punk’ with Eternity, In Your Arms.
Opening with Black Rain, these disparate influences are immediately apparent, opening with a melodramatic piano led opening before kicking into a verse that sounds a lot like The Art of Drowning-era AFI, with propulsive drumming and fast paced guitar riffing, but elements such as piano mix it up before the band hits the listening with a huge rock chorus, which shows off the backing vocals of keyboardist Hannah Greenwood.
Creeper keep up with this fast paced punk feel with the next two tracks, Poison Pens and Suzanne, but still mix in these unexpected elements. Poison Pens is the fastest song of the album, with relentless drumming and screamed backup vocals, with a slow paced gothic bridge towards to end of the track serving to give the track a little variety before speeding back at the end. While Suzanne is where Creepers rock influence becomes apparent, with a massive Meat Loaf choruses sandwiched between bass-led rockabilly sounding verses.
From this point, Creeper go down a more rock path, with tracks like Hiding With Boys, Down Below and Winona Forever having a really rustic feel to them, with vocalist Will Gould exploring the lower end of his singing register. However, Hiding with Boys is still a fast paced song, sounding like Alkaline Trio covering The Black Parade-era My Chemical Romance, while Down Below and Winona Forever having a slower, purposeful pace to them, sing-along choruses and a stronger emphasis on keyboards.
The tracks Misery and Crickets are the ballads of the album, however they both have completely different vibes, with Misery being a downtempo track lead by the vocals of Will Gould, that slowly builds throughout before the whole band kicks in for the finale. However, Crickets is the biggest curve ball of the record, with keyboardist Hannah Greenwood taking over lead vocal duties, showing off a strong and slightly gritty singing voice, with the band opting to only use acoustic guitars and a violin during this track, giving it a country-esque feel.
Throughout Eternity, In Your Arms, the real standout performer would have to be vocalist Will Gould, who shows off an enormous range throughout this album, ranging from low-pitched crooning on Misery, to strong higher pitched singing and being able to belt out choruses that wouldn’t sound out of place on an 80s rock album. Backing this performance up is keyboardist Hannh Greenwood, whose higher pitching singing contrasts well with the main vocals, often harmonising in the choruses. The backup vocals from the rest of the band are integral to Creepers’ sound, which are probably some of the best I’ve heard since The Art of Drowning by AFI, ranging from screaming in Poison Pens, throwing in ‘Woooooahs’ during Room 409 and giving the chorus a raucous feel on the track Down Below.
Instrumentally, the band is mostly rooted in a fast paced punk sound with a strong rockabilly vibe, with the pronounced basswork from Sean Scott and keyboards often used for emphasis (but never are overpowering) going well with the faced paced riffs and drumming during this album.. However, tracks like Down Below show how the band can switch gears, guitarist Ian Miles and Oliver Burdett showing that they can throw rock style riffing into play, while the Hiding With Boys shows that they know how to used guitar solos and faster paced riffs to contrast with slower, more powerful riffs during a slower paced chorus.
Eternity, In Your Arms is the sum of its parts, with Creeper managed to take their wide range of influences and filter it to deliver one of the most surprising debut albums of 2017, delivering on the potential that they had previously shown and exceeding it. Eternity, In Your Arms isn’t just a good debut album however, but it is the album Creeper needed to make to ensure that they have a fighting chance to be noticed in the often overcrowded music scene.
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