Do not make the mistake of assuming the new Creeper single is an off cut from the studio sessions for last years album Sex, Death & The Infinite Void. There is an EP of material due in September titled American Noir. There are eight tracks on the thing and it’s an epilogue to an album that was filled up with songs we’d been receiving (then hungrily devouring) since late 2019 and some goffy woffy poems that ended up becoming “the skipped bits”. This was so fans of the English MCR could get to the half dozen actual songs that were ‘new’ by the time SD&TIV finally dropped.
Midnight is Creepers biggest and most Steinmannesque single to date. It’s positively epic. From a Rocky Horror piano intro to some ‘oh so Batcave’ black lipstick and ‘Oh Matron’ take control lyrics it all gets underway with a quite lovely familial gist. Hanna and Will are on equal footing as Midnight is a star crossed lovers duet far more than anything on the elder sibling album.
They’re pushing the boat out on this one. As much as I loved it, I wanted so much more Hannah on last years album. Here she’s all over the single. It’s very gratifying. She’s making the whole sound of this band as it should be and entirely unique.
Gould is camping it up with a ‘Come On, Baby’ here and a ‘Oh Girl’ there. The lyrics invoke, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, Because The Night and Break On Through in various mixtures of the three and the Creepy Cultists drag along The E-Street Band tinkle, the Meatloaf pomp, the Misfits stomp and that Suede style Coming Up guitar sound that Ian Miles has made all his own. It’s really truly a great deal of fun.
If the rest of the EP goes this deep on the next steps of the journey, then Creeper have skipped the mid level phase (my recent post about their Ramones cover and the lack of live action to support the last album possibly cooking up a problem for the band was, I concede, premature) This sort of thing commands massive stages, huge lighting rigs and all that comes with a Hammersmith sized production.
“Because midnight belongs to you and me, baby, in the bedroom, in the dark right next to me and every time we touch I fall apart and you taste so sweet for such a bitter heart, such a bitter heart”
The power chords cutting in with the “oh oh no” moment is the whole team hitting their stride in a melodramatically marvelous way. In just under 4 minutes the 2021 incarnation of Creeper has raised their own bar. To think this was the band who only a year ago had fans worried they were leaving pop punk behind for something grander and more complex. They’re now harking back to when a concept album about a visiting alien who falls in love with an American Girl and is then murdered by her arsehole ex was a big deal.
Less may be more, if the more (or is it the less?) is made up of all this stuff that’s gone before.
With Midnight they’re making all that Damned poetry and goth pop seem old hat with nought but a classic rock influenced standard length pop rock single.
“So hold me like a gun with the safety off, squeeze the handle firm and the trigger soft, all the stars will die, the oceans will melt, so take me now while the gods can’t hear us”
I’m betting when they were young their father took them into the city, to see a marching band…