Review: “Bitter Picture” by Creak

Calling themselves a Grove orientated Nu-Metalcore band, Creak hail from Newcastle upon Tyne. After a pair of singles in 2019 gained them plenty of attention, including “(W)retch”, which features a guest appearance from Loathe guitarist Connor Sweeny, the quartet of vocalist Jack Dunn, guitarist Patrick Morton, bassist Josh Wanless and drummer Robert Wilkinson have gone and dropped a debut EP. They’ve abandoned the 2019 pair for this seven track, 17 minute affair with “…as I look up to a shadow, all that’s cast is a bitter picture” as an eerie tag line…

…which is exactly how “Overture” sounds. Eerie and slightly creepy with an electronic pulse giving the impression that something evil and dark is approaching. The programming makes for a cinematic quality introduction piece and will no doubt serve as the live show introduction going forward as it bursts into the cathartic lyrical attack of “In Confidence“. Bouncing angular riffs in a very similar guitar tone to the likes of previous tour mates God Complex cuts plenty of darkness as Dunn vents about thoughts like splinters. “Eyes Without A Face” is similarly haunting following a breakbeat introduction with an eerie programmed soundscape of cold industrial sound underpinning the riffs. The influence of albums like “Cold Sun” from Loathe on this one is pretty obvious, but Creak have put their collective imprint on the Gloom genre with this record and while it might not be pioneering, it’s still a damn good time. Roaring out of the gate with Dunn ranting and raving like a schizophrenic patient “Sullen” is as much programmed electronics as it spine juddering guitars and two step grooves. The final breakdown segment is jaw dropping and makes way for the ambient “A Spiralling Thought“. This one steps away from the bleak lyrics and instead offers a warped dark science fiction future of nuclear winter in an instrumental worthy of Loathe while perfectly setting up “At Fault” as an absolute rager of Nu-Metal groove with an ocean of bounce. Momentary programmed breaks and crushing breakdowns take the work of ferocity and make it hit harder and you can’t help but want to put this band up with From Sorrow To Serenity as a genre leader. Title track “Bitter Pictures” brings the self loathing lyrics full circle with a vicious cut thar has Hardcore roots under its Gloom peroxide blonde in the first half before bring a slower groove in the second half with majestic synths before a final flourish of brutal breakdown that cuts through like a knife. Expect Creak to be appearing at every underground show going in the next 18 months. They’ve created a Monster that needs an audience to satisfy its hunger [8/10]

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Track listing

  1. Overture
  2. In Confidence
  3. Eyes Without A Face
  4. Sullen (ft. Paul Collins)
  5. A Spiralling Thought
  6. At Fault
  7. Bitter Picture

Bitter Picture” by Creak is out now

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