CREEPER, War Machine (2010, self-released)
It’s the pointless skull I feel most sorry for. At least the ones getting smacked over the head with skateboards or balancing warheads on their foreheads are serving some sort of purpose. Take this guy, whose grim visage is slapped onto the album cover as a place-holder until the war machine itself arrives. He can’t possibly be the actual war machine. He may look evil, but he would be rather ineffective in battle, lacking limbs with which to drive a tank or fire a gun, or even press a button on a missile launcher. No, this skull is being used, and he’ll be tossed away as soon as the star of the show arrives, perhaps even blasted away by the war machine he’s standing in for. War is hell, and this skull has been condemned to be forgotten.
It’s fortunate that a lot of EPs have been coming my way lately here at Big Dumb Skulls, especially since so many have been so miserably below average. Creeper is perhaps the most unappealing band I’ve heard in a while. I will dole out one point for the David Wayne-esque shrieks in “Screamin’ Demon,” but ultimately this is entirely forgettable. These Texans play your standard brand of American groove/aggro metal, the kind of thing a person would like if their CD collection began with Pantera, ended with Metallica, and featured only Soulfly and Five Finger Death Punch in the middle. And that’s exactly how their 17 CDs would be displayed on the rack they made in wood shop, not having yet figured out the fine art of alphabetization.
— Friar Wagner