Join us on a journey to a dark place fuelled by chaos and desperation to begin the week with Newcastle quartet Creak. The band’s savage sound fuses groove metal, nu-metal and post-hardcore intensity with moments of eerie atmosphere and distortion.
The quartet first met at college through mutual friends and going to local gigs, then joined different bands before coming together with their vision for Creak. The result of that is debut EP Bitter Picture, which was released in August.
On the EP, vocalist Jack Dunn told us: “We’ve been working on it behind the scenes for about two years, so it’s exciting to finally have it out. Now that we have a full body of work out too, we hope that people can see every element of what makes Creak as a band, and what we have to offer. With everything happening in the world at the moment. I think releasing music during a lockdown was new territory for anyone in the industry, so it was definitely something we knew was a risk, but one that seems to have paid off.
“As far as the EP goes though people should expect a lot of tension and atmosphere. We’ve tried to fill every moment on the EP with eerie soundscapes, and distorted production in order to deny the listener of any reprieve they might have. This record came from a dark place, and we wanted to make sure that came across throughout.”
And that darkness is pretty difficult to miss in this deliciously savage EP, which was produced, mixed and mastered by Loathe guitarist Connor Sweeney. For example, lead single Eyes Without A Face opens up with huge rolling drums that continue under low-tuned guitars and siren sounds. Jack’s intense screamed vocals jump in over the top of the guitars, then crushing guitars and drums that continue into more intense guitars and screams, which end with a cry of “Time doesn’t heal, It rots in a wreck, Can’t lift a curse with a broken neck.”
Booming guitars kick in then a little flurry of faster guitars, before a repeat of the opening lines “Broken sleep and a broken mind, Thoughts relaying only out of spite, Inanity running through my spine” drop into a sinister section of distant electronic noises and screams. The trippy synth sounds return under booming guitar stabs with repeated cries of “Is it me or the death in the trees” to bring this huge track to a close. Check it out in the video below:
And if crushing riffs is what you’re after then have a listen to the massive Sullen, which opens up with an awesome stabbing riff then drops into Jack’s huge screams under a mass of pounding drums and guitars. Chugging guitars come in then a really cool bouncy riff under Jack’s intense vocals. That soon drops into a creepy quiet section of strange atmospheric noise, then a booming riff explodes into a final blast of intense vocals “Push down the words in my throat so I can try to breathe, Another question erupts, Compulsion smothers me as my words fail.” It’s huge, and you can give it a listen here:
The intensity the band musters up is epitomised by the big atmospheric concluding track Bitter Picture, which opens up with up the “eerie soundscapes” Jack alludes to. A mass of atmospheric noise caused by piercing synths kicks in along with a stabbing guitar riff then suddenly explodes into intense drums and a driving riff under a cry of “I found the light I’d always searched for but it only let me see what’s beneath.”
It soon drops back into an eerie quiet section with distant echoey vocals, which gives way to huge booming guitars and big atmospheric instrumentals. Intense vocals suddenly kick in with crashing cymbals and savagely heavy stabbing guitars to bring the EP to a huge ending. Give it a listen here:
The Creak sound is drawn from a wide range of influences, as Jack explains: “It differs a lot between each member, but I think there are a few that have had a big effect on Creak as a whole. Nine Inch Nails and bands like Sworn In and Barrier were a main part of the vibe and feel we wanted to put across when we started, but as we’ve gone on we’ve picked up more and more influences from different genres and scenes happening around the world.
“The UK in general though seems to be having a new wave of heavy music, with bands like Loathe and God Complex making music like nothing else we’ve ever heard, so being a part of a scene where that sort of experimentation is thriving has also had a strong influence on us, and how we try to write music.”
And, as we alluded to above, there’s a certain darkness to the Creak sound. As Jack continues: “The main influence behind the concept for the EP was a difficult year in my own life, dealing with a close family member’s illness and all the other things that kind of fall apart around that. I was forced to face and accept a lot of home truths that I couldn’t for a long time, and I think talking about all these feelings on the EP is a big part of what allowed me to finally do that.
“Other than personal grievances though, we are influenced by most forms of media in some way or other. For example, some of us are really big into anime, and manga, so artists like Junji Ito had a big influence on the visual aspect of the EP, and video games like Bloodborne or Dark Souls really helped us develop the tone and atmosphere we wanted to put across within the music. Overall though anything that puts across a certain feeling that we can associate with Creak in some way we try to take influence from.”
Creak plan to have more music to shock and excite us very shortly, along with shows whenever we’re allowed to go back to live music again (hopefully soon). Until then, we firmly recommend going to give their intensely brilliant debut EP a listen.