Creeper Never Fail To Astound Us
9.2Overall Score

Creeper, Poisoned Heart
Roadrunner Records

Just a few days left till Sex, Death, and the Infinite Void, and what a lead-up it’s been. Every taste of the album so far has hinted at its transgression from the previous Creeper blueprint of dark, heavy, raucous, high-concept rock, and of all of the above, Poisoned Heart only hints at a couple. It’s dark, it’s high-concept, but it’s also delicious, dreamy, and lighter than we’ve ever heard Creeper before.

Their handful of more sonically laidback tracks before have been guaranteed tear-jerkers. The gorgeous Crickets, Novena, Henley’s Ghost, I Choose To Live: stunning tracks, but more painstakingly cathartic than genuinely feel-good. But the besottedness that’s permeated Sex, Death, and the Infinite Void’s singles makes, for once, a track that you can sway along to and sing along to a love that sounds really joyful. Of course, it’s still called Poisoned Heart – Creeper are far from abandoning their gothic sensibilities in favour of Toothpaste Kisses, but there’s something so magical about hearing frontman Will Gould sing “drown with me, darling drown with me, I’ll take you to the edge of everything” with such tenderness.

Musically, Bittersweet’s own Emily Swingle’s observation that Creeper sound like goth Smiths (take that, The Cure) is impossible to forget once you’ve listened to Poisoned Hearts’s mellow-yet-intense acoustic guitar and jangly percussion; Gould’s impassioned, deep-voiced delivery calls to mind the poetic vividness that Morrissey is so famed for (though fortunately Creeper are truly lovely people, whereas we can’t say the same for The Smiths’ frontman). Hannah Greenwood’s piano, a Creeper staple, underpins the track with upbeat, crisp melodies, and a string section provides the theatricality they’re famed for in a hazy flourish.

So, the latest taste of Sex, Death, and the Infinite Void is yet another dimension of an album that’s set to redefine Creeper completely, in the most exciting way. That’s not the only excitement they’re providing us with though – famed for their innovation and their dedication to their fans (which is firmly returned), Creeper have put together Creeper-con in lieu of release shows: a livestream on Thursday night featuring a selection of the incredible creative minds behind Sex, Death, and the Infinite Void. Creeper have put together a true virtual spectacular for the tight-knit community around them, and it’s guaranteed to herald an album that makes history for them in the most fitting way possible.

And if you thought they couldn’t possibly be doing any more, Creeper’s belated release shows have been announced for Kingston, their own Southampton and our very own Leeds – is it just the album? Of course it’s not, Creeper don’t work in ‘justs’. Southampton will be seeing four shows at which Creeper play their seminal first three EPs across three nights, and Leeds is getting a highly-coveted fan-selected setlist late show as well.

Convinced that Creeper are the most exciting, most forward, most genuinely thrilling band on the scene yet? Just wait till Friday. They’ll have you won over.

Sex, Death and the Infinite Void is out this Friday, July 31st.