Album Review: Creeper – Sex, Death & The Infinite Void
Release Date: July 31st, 2020
After releasing a stunning debut album, selling out tours around the world, and building a loyal fanbase, what’s your next move? If you’re Creeper you disappear completely. No one was sure if the band would return after their infamous “breakup” at their 2018 London KOKO show. The band didn’t even know. Two years later, Creeper are back, but not the way you remember them. They’ve set fire to everything they’ve built since formation and rose from the ashes with a new look, new lore, and an ambitious new sound. Forget everything you thought you knew about Creeper because Sex, Death, & the Infinite Void is nothing like they’ve ever done.
This record goes beyond what Creeper have done in the past. Refusing to play it safe, the band throws away their old sound to completely reinvent themselves, a ballsy move only two records in. Their captivating hard-driving emo-punk sound is just about absent. The closest we get to intense punk rock anthems is “Be My End” and the fiery “Napalm Girls” – an instant classic. Instead, Creeper chart new territory exploring the realms of glam rock, rockabilly, Britpop, and even country.
Expectations are shattered once you hear the sultry “Paradise,” which sounds like the Misfits meets Dick Dale. Its cool demeanor is enhanced by frontman Will Gould’s alluring vocals, which make you ready to run off with him when he asks “Do you dream of me?” Creeper going country sounds like a joke, but that’s exactly what they do on “Poisoned Heart.” A fusion of Roy Orbison, Gothic Romance, and ‘70s country music, it’s a beautifully crafted slow burner that adds Creeper’s dark tendencies to country rock.
They continue down this rabbit hole of exploration on “Thorns of Love,” inspired by doo-wop, and “Black Moon, which sounds like it was made for Nancy Sinatra. The band taps into their pop sensibilities on the infectious “Annabelle” and “Cyanide” is inspired by David Bowie’s glam rock years. Hannah Greenwood and Gould finally team up on the Fleetwood Mac-esque “Four Years Ago,” which highlights how much Gould has improved as a singer. He plays with his vocals opting to croon or sing baritone rather than scream. Though these songs bare little resemblance to their previous album, the air of melancholy and darkness still make them distinctly Creeper.
The album explores a fantastical world, but it ends with a grim reality. The moving ballad “All My Friends” is Creeper’s boldest song yet. Never before has Gould gotten so personal and made himself so vulnerable. Written for his best friend, Ian Miles, it’s a raw expression of the agony, confusion, and anger that comes with loss. It’s a song that makes you ache, that makes you feel every ounce of pain and hopelessness Gould went through. Here, the band not only took a chance with their sound, they also opened up old wounds, and exposed a different side of themselves.
This isn’t just an album. It’s the soundtrack for the movie Creeper has yet to make. They up the ante with the theatrics and drama for a tale about Roe, a fallen angel with a prophecy about Earth, and Annabelle, an unhappy bride who runs away with him. The story plays out over 15-tracks with brief interludes that enhance the album rather than disrupt it. Similar to the previous story, this one isn’t as simple as it seems. Filled with lust, danger, and mystery, it’s a strange journey you have to revisit again to unpack its many hidden layers.
Sex, Death, & the Infinite Void is a stellar album that proves nothing is off-limits when it comes to Creeper. Every band talks about taking risks and breaking boundaries, but Creeper actually did it. They tore down everything you knew about them and went for a sound that’s daring, bold, and exciting. They’re not just a punk rock band. They’re a band that dives headfirst into the unknown and push themselves to their breaking point for a perfectly crafted experience. Now the question is, are you brave enough to join them on this new journey?