In the style of the great rock operas, Creeper's debut album is astonishing.
Born and bred in Southampton, Creeper is undoubtedly one of rock’s finest and most exciting new bands. Building momentum courtesy of a steady stream of EP releases, the band has garnered a sizeable fanbase and an equally impressive headline tour, with multiple dates sold out before their first full album had even hit the shelves. In Eternity, In Your Arms, they have created something very rare: an album that feels like it could define a generation.
From the opening salvo of ‘Black Rain,’ ‘Poison Pens,’ ‘Suzanne,’ and ‘Hiding With Boys,’ what becomes immediately apparent is an effortless ability to craft huge choruses. With an eye for the theatrical, Creeper unleashes themselves through vivacious and rather ferocious punk tunes – “And in the rain I screamed your name,” cries lead man Will Gould on the opener as keyboardist Hannah Greenwood cuts back (“So darling, just shut your pretty mouth”). Their back-and-forth is spine-tingling stuff, as is ‘Hiding With Boys’ an equally bombastic song that stands as a real album highlight. But Creeper isn’t confined to mundane riffs and drums, upping the ante through secret weapon Greenwood, whose keys and powerful vocals give Eternity, In Your Arms a near-operatic element.
Even whilst ‘Misery’ and ‘Crickets’ opt for a more subdued route, the band still sounds great. The former builds and builds into a beautiful full band crescendo; Greenwood takes the lead on the latter, a quieter acoustic number, with her vocals bearing a raw edge as the incorporation of strings gives a unique flair to what could easily have become a by-the-numbers sob piece. The band clearly has an incredibly strong grasp on their sound and tone: Eternity, In Your Arms is a well-oiled machine with added flair and glamour. As the album enters its closing stages, the band doesn’t forget to have a bit of a fun, giving ‘Darling’ more of a spring in its step. Then, there’s the guilty pleasure ‘Winona Forever,’ which adds elements of glam rock to the goth punk roots. To conclude, ‘I Choose To Live’ goes full Queen with an emphatic, fist-pumping chorus and an impassioned cry of the title, fitting in to Eternity, In Your Arms‘ theatrical nature.
So why does this feel like an album that could define a generation? It’s a rock opera seemingly on the level of a certain Black Parade or American Idiot. It’s passionate, powerful, and engaging. Whilst we’ve moved away from the eyeliner state of musical fandom, Creeper’s debut feels like an album that could amass a fanbase in a similar vein, with a truly epic and operatic style. Is it too early to call them the My Chemical Romance of the new era? Possibly, but if Eternity, In Your Arms finds the audience it deserves then it’ll be tough to deny Creeper anything.
Eternity, In Your Arms is out now via Roadrunner Records