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9.4Overall Score

Salem, Destroy Me
Roadrunner Records

The phrase lust for life couldn’t apply more to Creeper’s Will Gould. Not satisfied with putting out the incredible Sex, Death and the Infinite Void back in July and wowing fans and critics alike with his monumental grasp on dark theatrics, sultry soundscapes, and glam-punk, he’s back with a brand-new project: Salem erupts into life with as much lust as you can imagine. Collaborating with Matt Reynolds of Howard’s Alias, Skylar, and Drawings, Salem have released their debut single Destroy Me, proving that fierce riffs, relentless energy, and anthemic punk choruses are sometimes the most seductive.

Creeper fans will instantly clock the similarity to the blithe vitality of Creeper’s earlier EPs – Destroy Me is the opposite of slow-burn. It’s instant gratification, an explosion of churning basslines and rapid-fire guitar, bursting with life from the immense opening moments. It’s a horror-punk classic before you’ve even listened through all the way once; it’s an anthem for those who embrace the darkness; it’s raw and glorious.

Gould’s lyricism seems to have been building towards Destroy Me for a while – SD&TIV was, of course, a conceptual masterpiece, but Destroy Me feels wilder, unconstrained by a story or wider idea. Destroy Me is free to be what it wants to be – a fantasia on all the pleasures of enraptured, helpless, desperate love. A gothic, poetic, sexy whirlwind of cryptically magnetic metaphors and violent, intense obsession, no one but Salem has ever made being utterly obliterated sound so appealing.

Given that out of the nightmare we’re living through, Gould and Reynolds have found the creative energy to make a track as tremendous as Destroy Me, it’s an easy guess that their upcoming self-titled EP is guaranteed to live up to its lead single. It’s a tune that’s pure, unadulterated excitement – and it’ll have you feeling the thrill too.

Salem is out October 23rd.