Written by Dave Navarro, May 4, 2016, at 7:51 p.m.
A throwback to what punk once was and what it very well might be in its truest sense, Creeper, a six member punk rock group from Southampton, is a showcase of excellence. February saw the release of an EP titled The Stranger, which is where we’ll focus for this spotlight.
Creeper’s The Stranger
Opening with the track “The Secret Society,” Creeper explores a modern anthem aesthetic from a classic viewpoint. It’s as punk as one can ask for, without being a straight line back to the Ramones or The Clash, and without falling into the trap of being another pop-punk track. In fact, the whole EP walks that line, between pop-punk and the classics.
“Valentine,” the album’s second track, opens with a hint that makes you think it might be headed towards the pop-punk sound, but veers directly away and into a traditional punk sound. At times I’m reminded of Billy Talent, but I quickly am steered away from those thoughts, as their inspired by a cheap impression of Will Gould’s vocals. In truth, Gould may have a similar aesthetic, but the comparison hardly holds up. Similarly, I want to lean towards My Chemical Romance, but again, the comparison wouldn’t hold up to scrutiny.
By the time I’ve decided that Gould is good in his own right and doesn’t need to be compared to anyone else, “Black Mass,” the EP’s third track has started, and all of a sudden I’m thinking of Hedwig and The Angry Inch. “Black Mass” should defy comparison in its own right, being a track that covers as much ground as it does, from the classic punk sound to a sort of rock ballad with a bit of the 50’s tossed in for good measure. Perhaps this constant desire I have to find an appropriate comparison is a statement about Creeper’s ability to shore up the different corners of the punk genre.
So often when we discuss genres that have spanned decades, we find that what was once considered a definable part of one genre is almost an entirely new genre in today’s lenses. This is why we end up with so many “post-” attachments and a menagerie of grammatical contusions that Frankenstein together a category for us to slot bands into. Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming to keep track of so many sub genres. So let’s do this: Creeper is punk. That is the long and short of it. Closest neighbor to Against Me!
Do you agree that Creeper is punk? Tell me in the comments.