Creep Show – John Grant + Wrangler – have announced their long-awaited new album, ‘Yawning Abyss,’ out June 16 via Bella Union. To coincide with the announcement Creep Show have shared a visualizer for the album’s title track. Check it out via YouTube below.
Creep Show’s acclaimed 2018 album ‘Mr Dynamite’ was a fairground ride into the dark corners of a world that was on the brink of being blitzed in a blender. It was a record teetering on the edge. Five years down the line you’d expect the follow-up, ‘Yawning Abyss,’ would double-down and bring the white-knuckled, teeth-gritted fury of the last five years to the boil. And yet….
A quick recap? No problem. Wrangler + John Grant = Creep Show. And Creep Show? “A band of musical misfits who have found a voice or two”, says Wrangler’s Ben “Benge” Edwards, whose Bond villain studio on the edge of a moorland is Creep Show Grand Central as well as home to an analogue synth arsenal that could sink ships.
Wrangler have known each other for a while. Tunng’s electronics wizard Phil Winter and Cabaret Voltaire’s trailblazing, pioneering frontman Stephen Mallinder go way back, while Phil and Benge crossed paths in the 21st century when they seemed to be increasingly in the same venues at the same times. Meanwhile, Mal had been living in Australia since the mid-90s and when, in 2007, he returned to the UK his old pal Phil suggested he meet Benge and the three of them immediately began working together.
Wrangler collectively bumped into Grant at their soundcheck for Sheffield’s Sensoria Festival in 2014 where they were playing with Carter Tutti. A friendship blossomed and when they were invited to perform together for Rough Trade’s 40th anniversary show at London’s Barbican in 2016, well, they jumped at the chance… and Creep Show was born. “On this album”, offers Benge, feet firmly on the floor, “Wrangler wrangled some vintage synths, mostly Roland, Moog, and the ‘Crystal Machine’ – then John Grant joined in the fun at Memetune Studios where lots of musical experiments were carried out. Then Mal and John ran off to Iceland with the master tapes and recorded a load of madcap vocals. Back at Memetune, me and Phil were left to try and make sense of it all. Which wasn’t hard because what they did in Iceland was totally magnificent.”
Where ‘Mr Dynamite’ was menace, a mélange of mangled voices, with Grant and Mallinder being heavily treated, pitched up or down, rendering their contributions largely indistinguishable, ‘Yawning Abyss’ takes a more direct approach. You hesitate to say feel good, but there’s a skip in the step here for sure. But it does feel good. It’s probably best to draw your own conclusions… This is Creep Show after all.
‘Yawning Abyss’ track list:
1. The Bellows
3. Yawning Abyss
8. Steak Diane
9. The Bellows Reprise