Music

Review: Creeper live up to the hype with their debut album

Creeper release their debut album this week before heading on tour, and playing Download Festival.

Eternity, In Your Arms, the debut full-length by Southampton goth-rock aficionados Creeper, has felt like a long time coming. Having emerged onto the UK underground scene in the summer of 2014 with their raw self-titled EP, their evolution into the theatrical has encouraged buy-in by mainstream radio and press, not least heavy airplay on BBC Radio 1.

It all came alongside fitting melodrama. The gothic hue that permeated through their early sound exploded to the forefront as the band released two follow-up EPs. 2016’s The Stranger successfully affirmed their all-encompassing image. Accompanied by social media dramatics and resulting concept characters, Creeper had established themselves as more than just music.

Melodrama takes the backseat

Yet above all else on Eternity, In Your Arms, Creeper are primarily focussed on their sound. The melodrama is reserved for the record’s build-up, and then cleverly intertwined throughout the eleven tracks. Rather than stealing the show, it takes a well-deserved backseat in favour of their melodic charm. From its opening moments, the theatrics complement rather than overpower.

Only Misery survives the move from EP to full-length. With its huge sing-along chorus, it’s already a live favourite, but is also a prime example of their masterful combination of song-writing and image. This is mirrored in their homage to Winona Ryder towards the end of the album, and the gradual build of the stunning album closer, I Choose To Live.

Riding the 80s new wave

The heaviness is pulled back in favour of gothic-tinged emotion. Shreds of their early modern punk sound remain, such as on the opening of Poison Pens, yet ultimately the record takes more from 80s new wave. Eternity, In Your Arms also packs in a curveball or two, not least the stripped back folktale Crickets.

It’s all pulled together by an evident and deep running love of gothic pop-culture. The album encapsulates all of the iconic era, yet forges a new path with the band’s stunning compositions. By establishing their distinctive image early on, each track represents a unique element of their cleverly crafted world. And even beneath all of the exciting and vibrant layers, at its core Eternity, In Your Arms is incredibly raw and heartfelt.

Creeper hit the road shortly alongside Milk Teeth, Puppy and Energy. Tickets for selected dates are available through Ticketmaster.co.uk.

They’ll also be appearing at Download Festival in June, with tickets available here.

Eternity, In Your Arms will be available to stream and purchase from Friday 24 March 2017.

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