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The Creepshow – [Album]

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Friday, 18 October 2013

In listening to The Creepshow's fourth album, Life After Death, it's very easy to find credence to the old adage about the third time being the charm. In this case, the charm is the singer in front of the band; Jen “Hellcat” Blackwood was The Creepshow's original vocalist and made the band's first album with them – but vacated the position when her maternity leave became permanent. Hellcat's little sister Sarah “Sin” Blackwood was the next to step into the 'singer' role for The Creepshow and toured hard with the band as well as recording two albums with them (Run For Your Life and They All Fall Down) before leaving the group to focus on other creative outlets (namely, Walk Off The Earth). Somehow, The Creepshow were able to rebound from the departure of a second singer in five years and (no fresh out of Blackwoods) announced the arrival of Kenda “Twisted” Legaspi into the group's lineup on the same day Sin announced her departure in 2012.

For most bands, the turnaround of so many players through a key position like 'lead vocalist' would be considered devastating to their creative drive and sound, but not The Creepshow. In fact, as she proves on Life After Death, Legaspi can not only meet the expectations that the Blackwood sisters ensured fans would have of a Creepshow singer, she surpasses both her predecessors by being able to present similar tones and forms to each of them as well as rocking out some of her own as well.

In a lot of ways, Legaspi goes by the numbers to prove she's up to this job – and leave no one wondering otherwise. In “The Devil's Son,” for example, the singer proves she's versatile when she swings on a vocal timbre near-identical to Sin's but rocks out a lyric sheet which might have been ripped out of a scribbler left behind by Hellcat (check out the 'I'll tease the devil and make him cry' sentiment of lines like “I didn't know it would end like this/ I fell in love with the devil's kiss”), and then flips the script around and sings less “Hellcat undead” and more “Sin-ny rockabilly” on “Second Chance.”

Moments like those will leave listeners' heads spinning, but they prove to come second at best when Twisted really takes the wheel on songs like “Born To Lose,” “See You In Hell,” “Settle The Score,” “Second Chance” and “Take It Away.” More so than was ever the case before, boogie woogie and punk rock are key ingredients here as keyboardist Reverend McGinty and guitarist Daniel Flamm play key roles in the drive of these songs, and arrive at a sound which isn't exactly punkabilly and isn't precisely boogie woogie, but is a fantastic cross between the two. Because it's not “The Creepshow as always” on those songs, Legaspi really pushes to make sure they're unmistakably not the norm and all her own, and just lays each out beautifully with a vocal style and delivery that is equal parts Gwen Stefani and Joan Jett. Because they don't sound exactly like any other Creepshow offering, those songs end up being the standouts and listeners will find that, while the songs where Legaspi plays by the rules laid down by her predecessors, the tunes wherein she asserts her dominance and breaks away from the ghosts of singers passed are the best.

That Legaspi IS able to outshine her predecessors as brilliantly as she does here (she plays by the conventions they set down as well as her own on this record to show the difference – and is never once found lacking or inferior in any regard at all) is impressive and, as the album's title track fades out to close Life After Death, those who have run top to bottom with the album won't be able to resist getting a little excited. While no fan ever considered that there might have been something lacking in The Creepshow's albums before, Life After Death illustrates just how good the band is really capable of being.

Artist:

www.myspace.com/thecreepshow
www.facebook.com/pages/The-Creepshow/
www.twitter.com/thecreepshow

Download:
The Creepshow –
Life After Death – "Born To Lose" – [mp3]

Album:

Life After Death
will be released in Canada via Stomp/Warner Music on October 22, 2013 and in the U.S. via Sailor's Grave on November 12, 2013. Pre-order in Canada here and in the U.S. here  on Amazon.

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The Creepshow – [Album]

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Thursday, 02 October 2008

Anyone familiar with The Creepshow’s story has been waiting for a new release with trepidation for the last two years. Upon first appearing, the band set the psychobilly world on fire as singer Jen “Hellcat” Blackwood, bassist Sean “Sickboy” McNab, drummer Matt Gee and keyboardist Reverend McGinty tossed a keg-sized Molotov cocktail into a haunted mausoleum and then started a zombie dance party around the resulting bonfire with the contents of their debut, Sell Your Soul. There was no stopping the band – until motherhood did. When Hellcat’s maternity leave became permanent and little sister Sarah “Sin” stepped in, she quickly won over those fans that felt jilted by Hellcat’s departure and The Creepshow was off and running again as the same incendiary live act they’d always been.

But a live band is one thing – a studio entity’s quite another. While Sin had a record deal of her own signed and sealed along with a hefty songbook, she still had her work cut out for her as she attempted to work her own songwriting style into the existing sound of the band. Think that’s not an imposing feat? Ask Brian Johnson how easy it is to write for an established band – audiences were still unsure if this zombie had been staked or not.

They needn’t have worried. Sarah “Sin” Blackwood’s first album with The Creepshow doesn’t attempt to mimic her sister’s vision or voice, but expands on the key elements of the band’s sound and ostensibly starts over. After Run For Your Life's obligatory “Sermon” to open the record and set the tone for the album, the band floors the accelerator with “Rue Morgue Radio” and doesn’t slow down until they’re finally sucked into the vortex of “Long Way Down.” For her part, Sin instantly registers and establishes herself apart from her sister; in addition to a markedly more rock n’ roll attack than her predecessor’s rockabilly-leaning guitar work, Sin is a far heavier touch than Hellcat on the mic as well. The easiest way to make the difference in vocal styles plain is that, while still very attached to punk rock delivery Sin is more closely akin to Joan Jett while Hellcat’s more cutesy vocal acrobatics are closer to Gwen Stefani in comparison. The result is a record that sounds like it means business more than it is to simply entertain; there’s as much an urge to shake your fist in the air during songs including “Demon Lover,” the title track, “Take My Hand” and “You’ll Come Crawlin’” as there is to mash it up with the monsters on the dance floor and that urgency is what gets Run For Your Life over. The band never slows down in these ten tracks and makes listeners want to follow suit as a result.

Now that The Creepshow has made its’ point that there is life after Hellcat (or undeath – the lines between get blurry here) and Sin is a better-than-able successor, the band’s course is once again set and firm. For long-time fans that worried The Creepshow were as still as corpses, Run For Your Life will remove all doubt that the band has risen again with a fantastic offering.

Artist:

Creepshow homepage
Creepshow on Myspace

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