Eternity, In Your Arms
Nostalgia is so valuable it’s basically a currency at this point, with so many reboots, long-past-due sequels, and grown adults jamming to emo and pop-punk again (to say nothing of adults without children who are obsessed with Disney…). Too much of this nostalgia results in lesser versions of what made the original art great/funny/interesting. We all love singing along to what we loved as kids, and it’s not a new thing (hello karaoke), but too often, these recreations pale in comparison. That said, whoo boy do British horror punk group Creeper fly in the face of all I just wrote. Rarely does an exception to the rule rock so damn hard.
After a long series of singles and EPs, Eternity, In Your Arms capitalizes on the potential the band hinted at over the course of the past two-plus years. Creeper’s sound certainly wears its influences on its sleeves (and eye-liner), but the sheer sonic joy that permeates just about every second of this phenomenal album showcases how a band can overcome that common pitfall. Their grandiose style name-checks AFI, My Chemical Romance, Meatloaf, Misfits, and The Alkaline Trio; it’s the type of driving, anthemic punk rock that feels like a love letter to music that makes you forget where you are, if even for a few minutes. The lyrics tell tales as old as time (loss, love, life’s transitions), with some nice horror and fantasy-influenced inflections. Really, though, their blunt relatability and theatricality offer up one Hell of a winning combo. There’s at least one line or hook in each song that drills its way into your brain for good, and you’ll be stuck humming it over and over.
Creeper’s influences coalesce into a really grand listening experience, and no matter whether their punk rock leans closer to the former or latter, these tunes are packed with truly outstanding choruses. Backup vocalist Hannah Greenwood also has her moments to shine, particularly the arresting “Room 309” and “Crickets” duo that highlights the sonic range Creeper can pull from. The former is an all-out, gang-vocal-infused number, while the latter could have come out of the US heartland.
All in all, Eternity, In Your Arms is what nostalgia-fueled art should be: it recalls the greats of various punk and rock eras, and molds everything into a sound that is wild and passionate. Sure, you could dock Creeper some points for not always being truly original (“Darling” is basically an Alkaline Trio cut), but those moments are greatly overshadowed by greatness. Creeper’s truly fantastic debut does a wonderful job at incorporating a wealth of reference points into a dynamic, engaging listen. However, unlike so many backwards-looking groups, Creeper feel like they are worthy of mention among their influences. This has the chance to be an album known for a very long time, too.