Creeper

The Stranger EP

Written by: TL on 24/02/2016 12:46:29

In the new-ish UK sextet Creeper, the Southamptoners Ian Miles and Will Gould (on guitar and vocals respectively) have found themselves a new stomping ground following the dissolution of their long-time hardcore-punk band Our Time Down Here. With the addition of four new friends, it makes sense that this is a new band, but if it wasn't - if this was still Our Time Down Here - it would be hard not to compare the career trajectory to AFI, who gradually and famously transformed from adolescent, pissed-off punks to arena-rocking, goth-punk anthem-writers.

Because that's the vibe you get from the new Creeper EP, "The Stranger" - the title of which supposedly tips the hat to Camus: That Creeper are setting up to be the British version of what happened to AFI between "The Art Of Dying" and "Sing The Sorrow" and/or what happened to My Chemical Romance between "Bullets" and "Three Cheers". From Gould's vocals through the energetic and theatrical sound, the same sense of something dark, yet colourful is at play here. Add a dash of Vaccines-like Britishness in the retro-feeling verse of "Black Mass" and a helping of Meat Loaf in the chorus and the band has a cocktail sure to leave memorable impressions behind.

At track three, "Black Mass" is the obvious highlight of the new EP, and perhaps the most wholesome and simultaneously most catchy song. The opener "The Secret Society" awakens ambivalence in the role of 'this sounds cool, wish it was actually a whole song' -type of intro, very much in the vein of AFI's "Prelude 12/21" and it feels a bit much to set up this dramatically for only four more songs. "Valentine" takes a surprisingly downbeat turn in its chorus, but the verse is pure gold for any old My Chem fans out there. On the far side of the EP, "Misery" inhabits the role of the mellower anthemic track, bringing to mind "Morningstar" and "Leaving Song Pt. 2" (more AFI) or "Early Sunsets Over Monroeville" (My Chem).

Closing on a solid upbeat note with "Astral Projection", "The Stranger" leaves behind the impression of a band with charisma to spare and a style to keep an eye on, especially considering that they have the backing of mighty Roadrunner Records. That being said, though, there is room for some mild concerns. Despite the contagious and characteristic energy of these songs, neither of them have that obvious hit quality like an "I'm Not Okay" or a "Silver And Cold", so one could worry about a promotion machinery trying to make Creeper a big thing before the material is entirely there. Even My Chem was scorned as teenage-music during the heights of their success, and Creeper will be at risk of suffering the same fate if an eventual debut album isn't entirely convincing (#nopressure). That being said, their sound is damn exciting, like 2003 all over again, making it hard to not look forward to such an album with one's hopes up.

Download: Black Mass, Misery, Astral Projection
For The Fans Of: AFI, My Chemical Romance, Alkaline Trio, The Misfits, The Vaccines
Listen: facebook.com/creepercult

Release date 19.02.2016
Roadrunner UK

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