The Creepshow – They All Fall Down

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews

The Creepshow

They All Fall Down - STOMP Records

It’s only been two years since Ontario’s The Creepshow released their last album, but as fans will no doubt agree, the wait has felt much, much longer.  During those years frontwoman Sarah “Sin” Blackwood teased fans with two solid solo country/folk outings that saw Blackwood grow and mature as a songwriter.  By her second outing she came to embody the confidence and vocal prowess some may argue was lacking when she first took over lead vocal duties from her sister.  Needless to say, when the psychobilly frontrunners announced their return to the studio for their long overdue follow-up, They All Fall Down, the tension had reached critical mass as fans waited with baited breath.

As someone who has always enjoyed The Creepshow’s energizing brand of horror, I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.  They All Fall Down is the album that The Creepshow has been working towards for the past five years.  While certainly not a radical departure from the band’s origins, all eleven tracks reach out with enough hell-bent clarity and unearthly energy that should find listeners eagerly dancing their way six feet under.  On that note, the band has finally overcome their zombie origins, tastefully turning out tunes of terror that reach far beyond face value.  They don’t stray from what they know, but speak with a new sense of metaphoric purpose.

They All Fall Down opens with “The Sermon III,” a spoken word reading that has become somewhat of a Creepshow tradition.  But while the spot was previously reserved as a warning, this time the passage thematically sets the tone for the entire record.  Elaborating upon the cover’s boxing scene, Sean “Sickboy” McNab warns of embracing a life of anger and revenge, likening a losing match and an emptying corner to that of an obsession that ultimately drives those closest away, replacing them with a crowd of shallow, likeminded opportunists ready to desert you upon the first unfavourable blow.  The sentiment continues across most of the record, with lines like “you’re gonna get what’s coming” found immediately thereafter in “Get What’s Coming,” and “you’re on a road to self destruction, maybe one day you will see, you’ve become your own worst enemy” popping up several tracks later in “Dusk Till Dawn.”  There’s no sense of salvation here, only shallow egoists succumbing to the fate they deserve, and a twisted sense of justice.

Musically They All Fall Down boasts some of the best punked-up atmosphere in modern psychobilly.  NcNab has never plucked his upright bass so richly, and Kristian “The Reverend” McGinty’s keys offer up a subtle atmosphere.  When feeding their classic fast-paced personae as per “Road To Nowhere,” McGinty and McNab harmonize for some of their biggest backing vocals to date, an effect sure to make these tunes instant crowd pleasers.

And of course Blackwood’s smokey voice rounds out the whole affair.  She’s unmistakable at this point, and sings with a confidence that should ease up those initial Horrorpops comparisons.  For starters, she’s versatile, matching whatever the boys throw her way.  When they’re light and peppy, as per “Last Chance,” she can sound confidently cute.  When they’re forming a smooth 50’s drive-in theatre vibe, like those found in the Nim Vind/The Epidemic-esque do-wop “Sleep Tight”, she’s as slick as the grease keeping McNab’s hair high.  And when McGinty reaches back to his ska days and bares some brass in the rock ‘n roll race to the bottom that is “Hellbound,” Blackwood bounces along effortlessly.

At this pointing the game The Creepshow can do no wrong.  They might not have the most original premise, but their growing thematic awareness and tight melodies make for one hell of a psychobilly romp with little to no equal.  A must have for creeps and punks alike.