Rocking horse shit. That’s about the only thing as rare as a band nailing aesthetic, mystique, live shows, credibility, a groundswell of genuine interest, a devoted fanbase and SONGS on their debut album. Rocking horse shit. And Creeper’s Eternity, In Your Arms (Roadrunner).
‘Black Rain’ sets a high standard from the off; a Goth Punk British ‘Helena’-meets-Rise Against track that slows down to a stirring, theatrical chorus, introducing the interplay of Hannah Greenwood and Will Gould’s vocals as they spark off each other with a chemistry reminiscent of Paul Heaton and Brianna Corrigan on the early The Beautiful South material. ‘Poison Pens’ is all three-chord battery, with the Creeper Cult barking “Love is Dead!”, ‘Suzanne’ is hammy in the very best way with another huge chorus destined to be the summer call of the youth gone wild, before ‘Hiding With Boys’ proves an absolute pop-punk masterclass.
But, think you’ve got Creeper figured out, and there are golden threads of My Chemical Romance, Meatloaf and pop-Punk woven indelibly and regularly throughout this great album, they throw in ‘Misery’. Reflective, clean, with a world-weary singer-songwriter class summed up by Will Gould musing “When your friends sing ‘Born To Run’, resist, cos baby we were born to drift…”. ‘Down Below’ raises a Gaslight Anthem smile, ‘Room 309’ hurdles, all Bad Religion, before, as Creeper are wont to do, they chop the timing up half-way through and take the song in a different direction. They follow this up with the exquisite ‘Crickets’, a beautiful, quasi-country lament expertly led by Greenwood, ‘Darling’, an Alkaline Trio romp, and ‘Winona Forever’, a cheeky, background-to-shiny-montage-segment-of-a-Hollywood-buddy-romcom rocker, before ‘I Choose To Live’ rounds things off, all piano and exposed vocal, revelling in a love of Meatloaf.
And there you have it; eleven songs that all warrant mention. Eleven songs that roil and swirl, that lift you up, push you, pull you, and place you back on the shore, only to do it all again. Eleven songs that aren’t scared to just be great rock songs. Eleven songs that flirt with elements of the theatrical and an astute aesthetic. Eleven songs that are packed with interesting lyrical quirks that stick and work into wrecking ball vocal hooks, clever song-writing dynamics and huge choruses. Eleven songs that could be singles in their own right.
This level of consistency and quality rarely happens with the very best established bands, let alone on first albums.
E,IYA is not just one of the best British debut Rock albums since earth vs the wildhearts (EastWest), it could prove to be one of the most important, too. It has been too long since British Rock felt relevant, or vital, but in 2017 there are plenty of bands bubbling, waiting in the wings to gush in torrents and be part of a New Wave of British Rock Music explosion. But have no doubts about it, a new generation requires a spearhead band to cut through and lead the way. It needs an album from a new face, an album that will be revered in twenty years’ time and an album of great songs. Creeper should be that band, and Eternity, In Your Arms should be that album.