With a shakeup in the band line-up having marked the past year or so, Canadian rockers The Creepshow unleash their new album to easily answer any questions, or doubts which may have risen over the period concerning the change. Life After Death is a thumping treat of a riot, a bruising and seductive blaze of multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll which feeds all the constant hunger for the band’s distinctive sound within fans whilst expand their sound to its fullest adventure yet. The eleven track stomp sees the Toronto quintet sculpting songs from a fiery mix of rockabilly, psychobilly, punk, and hard rock, a rangy blend which stretches the imagination and energy of the band arguably to its greatest potency to date. It is a storming encounter which ignites the senses and passions as only The Creepshow can.
Formed in 2005, the band has built a formidable place within psychobilly bred adventure through their impressive albums and dramatically riveting and raucous live shows which has seen the band alongside the likes of Rancid, Tiger Army, TheUnseen, Agnostic Front, Mad Sin, Demented Are Go to name just a few and ignite numerous festivals such as like Ink’n’Iron, Festival Of Fear, Mighty Sounds, and Rebellion over the years. Their releases from debut album Sell Your Soul of 2006, the exceptional Run for Your Life two years later, and the equally incendiary They All Fall Down in 2010, have helped thrust the band to the frontline of rock ‘n’ roll bred voraciousness but certainly the departure of vocalist Sarah “Sin” Blackwood to focus on her involvement with Walk Off The Earth last year raised some questions about the band’s future sound. The truth, as shown by the new release, is that the change has only drawn a fresh breath into and energy from the band, a new appetite which has honed Life After Death into an exceptionally vibrant and compelling confrontation.
Stepping into the gap left by Blackwood is Kendalyn “Kenda” Legaspi, her vocal fire and guitar craft a stylish hungry presence which takes the snarl of the band into a fresh rapaciousness and devilry to match the movement of the band’s sound. Life After Death also sees new drummer Sandro Sanchioni and guitarist Daniel Flamm (Ski’ s Country Trash) alongside Legaspi, bassist Sean “Sickboy” McNab, and Kristian “The Reverend McGinty” Rowles on keys, a fresh union which finds The Creepshow arguably at their most powerful and gripping.
Opener See You In Hell storms through the ear with a greedy charge of badgering rhythms and adrenaline coaxed riffs, the track a psychobilly contagion which without creating new realms for the style provides a predatory thrill which ticks all the right boxes for the passions. The vocals of Legaspi on this song have initially a voice close to that of Blackwood but as the album expands she shows her distinct and unique presence potently alongside the musical adventures. With the upright bass craft of McNab as delicious and inciting as expected with the band’s invention, the track is a stonking start to the album which is soon backed by The Devil’s Son. The song from its opening second has a sultry lure and heated breath to its rockabilly prowl, keys a smouldering glaze over the rhythmic caging of the imagination and the seductive Wanda Jackson hinting vocals. Insistently infectious the song merges a fifties swagger with a sixties keys narrative which with the excellent vocal harmonies just captivates and mesmerises the imagination.
The first single from the release Sinners & Saints bounds into view next, the song a feisty energetic dance of juggling rhythms and bass provocation beneath a melodic flame of easily accessible and inventive temptation. For personal tastes it is not the strongest or preferred song to tempt people into the album but it is still a pleasing and enticing encounter which sets up an even greater appetite for the following gems of Born To Lose and Settle The Score. The first is a song which maybe should not work but does magnificently. Like a merger of Jerry Lee Lewis and Meatloaf, the fusion of classic rock ‘n’ roll and seventies hard rock with glam tendencies leaves the senses breathless and intrigued. A track which walks the fine line between being crazy and sparking total adoration, it is ultimately a riveting slice of invention which challenges and explores the imagination for the strongest satisfaction. Its successor like the first song of the album, is less adventurous rather sticking to a straightforward rockabilly stance but at the same time has no lack of punch and virulent bait to continue the impressive body of the album.
Failing Grade makes a grab for the passions next, its brawling intensity and confronting energy caged within a rhythmic irresistibility sheer magnetism. There is a punk rabidity to the song which urges it on whilst vocally, Legaspi backed again by great band confirmation steals prime attention. Like a mix of Spinnerette and Tiger Army it is a major joy with the keys of Rowles casting an absorbing evocative weave over the heart of the song with his imagination. One of many highlights upon the release it is not standing alone for long as immediately both Second Chance and Last Call state their claims for top spot on the release, the first an elegant stomp soaked in sixties inspired keys and veined with rockabilly punctuation whilst its successor is a glorious fire of punk and blues rock ‘n’ roll. Like a blend of Flogging Molly and Bill Haley with King Kurt the Ringleader, it is a terrific unpredictable gem with McNab leading the vocals across a scintillating brass flame of inventive temptation.
Just as right across its length the album closes by unloading another mass brawl of mighty allurements, Take It Away first igniting the ears with its anthemic rockabilly antagonism before making way for the outstanding punk ‘n’ roll predation of Can’t Wait To See You Fall. The song with another psychobilly and punk explosiveness within a sweltering melodic sky leaves the hunger rabid for more, with the sensational vocals of Legaspi a sirenesque temptress which she repeats upon the closing title track. An exceptional conclusion to an equally immense album, the song ensures that Life After Death is a lingering battling enticement of pleasure.
The Creepshow just go from strength to strength and have not let a little matter of changing front ladies diffuse their invention, imagination, and might. Punk ‘n’ roll album of the year…it just might be.
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