02 November 2009
by Vincent Danger
I woke up blurry-eyed the other night and I could taste semen. There’s no need for crudeness here – I’m not some rampant man-loving willygrabber, I just know what spunk tastes like. It was obvious what had happened. There had been a hate crime in my bedroom.
I immediately checked all the doors and windows and they were all still locked. There was no intruder alert to speak of. There was no stranger danger. Through the salty tears that cut through the surprisingly salty sperm, I decided to replay the events of the previous day through my mind…
I woke up around midday with a medium-sized hangover and cooked some eggs. I was pissed off there was no bacon left but whatever – it was gone in seconds. Then I showered and opened the post. I was pleasantly surprised to actually have any post to open so I was in a pretty decent mood at 2pm.
Then I put the new Creed album in my PC because I figured I might as well listen to their first album of original material in eight years. It was their comeback album. I thought that maybe they’d taken those eight years to become better people; better musicians. I thought that I’d give them the slightest chance to redeem their sorry excuse for a career – at least in my eyes.
iTunes loaded Full Circle up as a “Pop” album. This made me spit out my coffee. FYI, this is never a good start. What came next is still as clear as day.
That burly hunk of a man (add the words “drunk” and “punchy” if you want to add some irrelevant context), Scott Stapp immediately started howling and growling that he’s “entitled to overcome” and stuff about pain that he just can’t feel any more. I still dread to think what personal demons he’s trying to exorcise with his newfound vocal silkiness, but the fact the song’s so darned heavy must be making a few million Creed fans say a Hail Mary.
After hearing ‘Bread Of Shame’ I thought that Creed thought it was still 2001 and the same riffs would suffice but the mellow melodies of ‘A Thousand Faces’ are as sweet as anything from the pop charts of 2009. Yep, iTunes didn’t mis-label this. The way Stapp’s lyrics incite emotions you don’t even have is amazing. I had never been so proud to be a white, Christian American man!
I think I’d been hypnotised by this crap. I’m from London (London, England, FYI) for crying out loud but I can feel a mullet growing and I started chewing the tobacco out of one of my cigarettes. This was not good.
Watch the video to ‘Overcome’ by Creed
The worst thing is the admission that there’s enough turbulence and controversy behind them now to make the tortured lyrics feel at least halfway heartfelt now as well. For the 35 million that have bought Creed’s records in the past, Full Circle could be the Floridian band’s finest hour. It’s possible however, that some of the other six billion might get sucked in.
It didn’t get any better. With the gently anthemic ‘Away In Silence’, the ridiculous imagery of ‘On My Sleeve’ – yes, Stapp sings about his heart actually being on his sleeve – and the well-structured and emphatic album closer ‘The Song You Sing’, Creed have showed that they’ve actually been honing their talents in some ways since their acrimonious split. It’s a balanced album that is as powerful as anything they’ve ever done.
Then came a horrible moment of realisation. I had never experienced such horror. I looked around frantically for an explanation but there was nothing. I had realised that I’d chosen to put Full Circle on for a second time. It was a definite choice and this did more than sadden me. I realised that I was on the verge of singing along now. My head had been nodding, my foot had been tapping and my fist had been intermittently pumping for at least a half hour.
After I’d swallowed a little bit of sick back down, I started drinking. I cracked a brand new bottle of Jim Beam open and started swigging straight from the bottle. Seeing as this was one of the last things I could remember, I figured I’d look for the bottle. It was under the duvet on the other side of the bed, like the girl you really don’t want to wake up with. It was empty. Ummm…
Could it be that in my stupor, I had faceraped myself? Could it be that I hated myself so much for that inescapable hour and bit of listening to Creed that the level of self-loathing had become so high that I had to degrade myself in the only way that could do that hatred justice? Through those ever-saltier tears, I realised what I had done to myself. I realised what Scott Stapp and Creed had done to me and what they’re about to do to millions more around the world.
Sounds like: grunge never went away after all
Top tracks: either all of them or none of them, depends
Creed – Full Circle tracklisting
Bread of Shame
A Thousand Faces
Away in Silence
On My Sleeve
The Song You Sing