As Creeper’s platform rises, so does their ability to surprise.
Label: Roadrunner Records
Released: 18th September 2015
Creeper’s self-titled debut EP was crafted in the relative solitude of the unknown. The band had no expectations for the release beyond five tracks of friendship and creativity, but it didn’t stop at the bedroom door. In fact, it just hasn’t stopped. Now signed to Roadrunner Records, they’re in a very different space and you can feel it in every shuddering movement of ‘The Callous Heart’.
From the unifying gang cry of ‘Black Cloud’ through the whispering confession of ‘Allergies’ until the pointed release of ‘Henley’s Ghost’, a nod to Wendy Darling, ‘The Callous Heart’ is bewitching.
The storytelling transport that gave ‘Creeper’ its charm is alive and well here, but instead of scratching tales by candlelight, Creeper are standing, arms outstretched, ready and willing to pull you into this world.
And what a world it is.
While the band may skirt around new graves, this record is a brash, vibrant celebration. The message of ‘Black Cloud’, “Just remember, you’re still young and you’re still free,” is readily dashed against the walls in glorious Technicolor but that mottled rainbow doesn’t end there. ‘The Honeymoon Suite’ is a hurried call to arms and ‘Lie Awake’, despite the pained heartsink, manages to grapple with a sense of hope.
Not only does ‘The Callous Heart’ sound bigger, it’s got ambition to match. The limits of what Creeper feel comfortable with are pushed farther away from their rugged punk core but nowhere on this record does it feel like the band are reaching. There’s a confidence to this growth but there’s still doors to open and that’s where the real magic of ‘The Callous Heart’ lives. In the shadows. Every proud declaration comes with a secret admission and every leap forward is met with newfound potential. As Creeper’s platform rises, so does their ability to surprise. Ali Shutler