This Churchhouse Creepers article was written by Tyler Turner, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Stephen Butchard.
Just by looking at the album artwork, title and track listing, you can already predict what the Icelandic trio Churchhouse Creepers have in store for you on their debut album ‘From Party to Apocalypse’. The cover features a mess of partygoers gradually shifting from fun-loving drunkards to a screaming mob, fearing for their lives. You can’t miss the various explosions, spaceships and the colossal cat creature emitting laser beams from its eyes in the background. Such a visual eruption instantly makes apparent that this band likes to have a good time. A light-hearted approach is imperative when tackling the Akureyri-hailing Churchhouse Creepers.
Upon first listen, ‘From Party to Apocalypse’ (released on the 28th of November 2015) thunders past the listener like an adrenaline fuelled hurricane. It shows a lot of promise in the first few tracks; the album’s opener, ‘Party’ would make anyone want to get on top of a dining room table and dance like they’re in a glam metal music video. The song name is almost forceful – ‘Party’ seems to be instructing you to let your hair down and get your groove on, which sets the tone for the entire album. The vocal tones are powerful though not intimidating, and the range is impressive. The instrumentals sound familiar, but are otherwise flashy and exciting. The general atmosphere conjured makes it feel as though you really are at a party listening to a group of your mates play.
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‘No Monday’ says what we’re all thinking. Who wouldn’t want the apocalypse to hit and obliterate the concept of routine completely? No more Mondays and every day is a party (when you’re not busy fleeing from Catzilla). However, if it wasn’t for the interesting intro, it would have been difficult to tell when one song ended and the other started. Already, there is a pattern forming.
Obnoxious instrumental breaks, isolated vocals… we’ve heard tracks like ‘What Mama Don’t Know’ all before, but hey, we all have our influences. Artists are bound to produce something vaguely recognisable every once in a while, whether being intentionally ironic or not. Churchhouse Creepers may sound generic, but they have fun with it and make the sounds their own. ‘What Mama Don’t Know’ is an album highlight. It’s perhaps the only track on the album that offers a slight poppy refuge from the surrounding thrash, with stadium ready “woah oh oh’s,” which allow time to catch a breath – and a quick one at that – before chugging swiftly onwards.
As the album progresses, the listener starts feel less like the life of the party and more like the one sat playing on their phone in the corner. It’s not that the tracks get boring as such, but they definitely begin to run the risk of blurring into one big ball of cymbals and distortion. Perhaps this was intentional; after all, the entire concept is of a party ascending into the apocalypse, so the whirlwind of sounds and images is not at all out of place here. Though at times, the instrumentals verge on mere musical masturbation. A lot of the riffs are so clichéd and repetitive that they stop being impressive and start getting tedious. However, with a title such as ‘From Party to Apocalypse’, you know that you’re not signing up for twinkly power ballads, and it can’t be denied that the music is very fitting of its topic. Besides, if you’ve got the talent, why not flaunt it?
The tone of the album becomes more aggressive as it nears the apocalypse end of the spectrum. Songs such as the album’s closing track ‘Apocalypse’ are less Hair Metal and more ripped skinnies and lip rings. The angst is strong in this one, but again, you can’t take Churchhouse Creepers too seriously, otherwise you wouldn’t even make it past the first track.
For a debut album ,‘From Party to Apocalypse’ isn’t at all bad. Churchhouse Creepers have announced to the world what they’re all about, and are sure to appeal to a lot of likeminded music fanatics. They provide a light relief from some of the more serious and uptight artists on the music scene. In the future, it’s easy to hope that we’ll see them really show off what they are capable of with a greater range of sounds.
‘From Party to Apocalypse’ is available now via the band’s bandcamp.