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Album Review: Creeps by Indian Handcrafts

Indian Handcrafts release their second album Creeps on Sargent House on 2nd October. For a label renowned for its progressive post and math rock bands, Indian Handcrafts come in the often forgotten about harder and heavier metal side of the label. Think more along the lines of label mates Mutoid Man and you’ll be on the right track.

In a similar vein to Mutoid Man, Indian Handcrafts put out a genre of metal that rarely breaks the mould and at times could be considered predictable. Conversely, it is no bad thing, on Creeps the band brings back the glory days of 80’s metal shunning the metalcore sound of many modern bands. There’s sheen and steel to Creeps that conjures memories of the freedom and churning riffs of early Metallica and Judas Priest. You’d also be forgiven for hearing KISS like infectious hard pop lurking just below the surface.

‘Down At The Docks’ kicks things off with hard hitting doom riffs before ‘It’s Late Queeny’ comes in sounding like an anthemic 80s behemoth. The riffs of ‘Murderers For Hire’ chug along nicely before ‘Brothers Underground’ announces itself as the strongest track on the album. Viciously heavy, pounding its way to your very core it’s an exhilarating listen. The vocal treads into Rob Zombie territory, doing the track no detriment whatsoever.

‘Maelstrom’ provides all the progressive metal that any discernible listener could ever want. It’s both epic and refined, coming in at over 7 minutes. You feel that the band have trimmed the fat and left you with only the best parts – testament to how strong the track is.  The NWOBHM style chugging riffs of ‘Snake Mountain’ sound refreshing compared to modern day metal. If its job is to transport you back to the late 80s then it does its job with aplomb. The KISS comparison comes to the fore in ‘The Divider’ where the vocal harmonies take centre stage; again it’ll transport you back to the late 80s but not much else.

For a duo to create the crunching visceral metal on display in Creeps you have to give credit where it is due and at time you have to applaud it. However by the time you get to the tail end of Creeps you end up just feeling a little numb. Sure it harks back to the glory days of metal, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. There’s a nice frantic energy to ‘Degenerate Case’ and the grandiose album closer ‘Red Faced Snorter’ will appeal to many people of a certain age wanting to revisit their youth.

With Creeps Indian Handcrafts have delivered up a good yet pretty unremarkable album. Enjoyable for the most part, it starts to grow predicable and the excitement wears off. It stands out today for being different, lumped in with 80s metal it would struggle to be a footnote.

AD Rating 6/10

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