EP REVIEW: Creak – Bitter Picture

Release Date: August 1st 2020
Label: Unsigned
Website: None available
Facebook: www.facebook.com/creakofficial
Twitter: None available

Rating:

There’s no denying the influences teeming within the chug-centric composition that Newcastle based metalcore newcomers Creak deal in.

Getting the obvious comparisons to the likes of Emmure and Knocked Loose out of the way, the group harbour a frenetic, barely restrained complexity that ironically sounds a lot more like what one would anticipate from modern Emmure since recruiting former members of Glass Cloud.

Guitarist Patrick Morton is the group’s secret weapon. His utilisation of dissonance, programming, and intriguing effects are keenly attuned to the likes of Vein.FM, Josh Travis, and the modern wave of laser-tight, bruising nu-metalcore that he’s helped popularise in recent years.

While crushing riffs and grooves abound, coupled with the aforementioned technicality that echoes The Dillinger Escape Plan or even Botch, it’s vocalist Jack Dunn who makes ‘Bitter Picture’ a much more unique, arresting listen. With unmistakable similarities to Mike Hranica (The Devil Wears Prada) and Jeremy Bolm (Touché Amoré), Dunn exudes that same emotive power and impassioned delivery; a paramount and often overlooked aspect of what helps to elevate a band in order to stand out in such an overstuffed scene. Sounding as bewildered and vulnerable as is humanly possible, his vocals are a far cry from the standard tough guy urgh-ness that permeates most sub-genres of metal and hardcore. Instead, his tortured wails when suffused with the frantic, pummelling instrumentation offer a truly alarming sonic assault.

‘Eyes Without A Face’ is a perfect demonstration of the delicately toed line the group walk between groove laden beatdown and spasmodic incoherency. ‘At Fault’, and the ambient, caustic interlude which precedes it, also highlight just how much pulsating atmosphere can be imbued into their brutal arsenal without ever meandering or feeling unfocused. This brooding, layered, and multi-faceted approach is truly refreshing to hear in a genre where even anger seems to have become homogenised.

Clocking in at under eighteen minutes, this hefty EP or lean album is just over a quarter of an hour of intense, seething, complex, unhinged metalcore with a modern exuberance that seriously gives credence to the hardcore scene that birthed it. The next challenge is for them is to expand their sonic palette whilst continuing to explore their more complex and atmospheric tendencies. There’s truly a well of potential within Creak, enough to lead to a promising future and major recognition.