Within mere months of their formation, Southampton funeral punks Creeper gained the devotion of U.K. DIY punk and hardcore scenes and ultimately the attention of Roadrunner Records. Now commended as one of the best live bands in punk, the gang continue to build their legacy on their terms—with purple-tinted tears, sweat and humility.
Here are five crucial Creeper songs to get to know these APMAs Best Underground Band nominees.
“The Secret Society”
In the Creeper-verse, the main characters of the band’s narrative are a young gang called The Callous Heart, whom they play onstage. “The Secret Society” from their latest EP The Stranger seems to best encompass what this gang entails.
Key lyric: “We don’t love or hate/We don’t feel anything/We wince at the days that remain”
Alright, so you’ve gotten the gist of the Callous Heart. Now cut to what they look like. As one of Creeper’s characters stitches a Callous Heart patch onto his jacket in this video, you get glimpses all around of the band’s punk-rock heritage—bands like 7 Seconds, the Cramps, Alkaline Trio, Misfits, the Bouncing Souls and Nerve Agents, all while The Lost Boys plays in the background.
Key lyric: “It’s a funeral for a feeling/A life I forget to live/And I’ll call you up and lie about the fucks that I don’t give”
We couldn’t make a list introducing you to Creeper without including what was for many the introduction to the band, their signature track “VCR.” If you take nothing else from Creeper’s music, you’ll definitely consider antiquated video technology more than you have in the past decade upon hearing this. You'll get the chorus stuck in your head for days.
Key lyric: “Am I handsome when I fuck up?/And are you pretty when you lie?”
Enter the band’s latest EP’s title character, The Stranger, a monstrous entity that visits a character named Madeline during sleep paralysis. “[The Stranger] represents time and all the things we fear,” explains vocalist Will Gould. “He’s something that keeps you up at night.” Now, that’s creepy.
Key lyric: “If faced the choice/You’d dream so coy of all the boys”
Much like one of the band’s musical inspirations Alkaline Trio, Creeper close each of their EPs with a heart-wrenching ballad. Continuing that comparison, “Novena” is to Creeper as “Radio” is to ‘Trio. It’s a tearjerker and a sing-along, and you’re unlikely to find a fan whose throat hasn’t strained from wailing along with Gould.
Key lyric: “Would you have lived differently if you had known this life was on loan?”