The dark world of The Mad Crept has been created by Irish native Patricia McInerney who is now residing in Auckland, New Zealand. The ‘Darkling EP’ is a world populated by the desperate, stalkers and those going loopy. Key to The Mad Crept’s sound is McInerney’s impressive voice, sounding like Roisin Murphy with a similar sort of range and capable of a sense of drama.
Opening song Misery begins with a trembling guitar sound before McInerney’s theatrical voice really grabs your attention, especially when she sings “my misery is you”. The latter part of the song loses its way as it lacks a distinctive guitar hook and could have been slightly shorter but overall it’s a solid opener.
Miss Morphine begins with a mock shriek straight from a low budget ’80’s horror flick. Lyrically the picture painted alludes to a tongue-in-cheek horror style; “see you in the club/I put something in your drink/take you home and make you mine for a week”. The accompanying guitar riff over this section – while full-blooded – does seem somewhat comedic too. Only half way through the song does it change to a more morbid pace, providing the edge the song required. It ends strongly but it feels maddening that the overall tone of the song was inconsistent.
Title track Darkling strikes the right balance musically though it has some cringey lyrics, in particular “you heat up faster than a junkie’s spoon”. The final track Runaway begins with that dark full-bodied choppy guitar riff that eventually slows down to a more mid-tempo verse. It’s a steady song that threatens to bubble and boil but never rises above a simmer. The overall tone of the EP is quite cabaret-like at times rather than going for a full on macabre effect. It does hamper the end result and you take the music less seriously than it expects you to.
There’s promise on show on the Darkling EP. There is a definite strong concept present and the atmosphere at times hits the right notes. That good work is tempered by the fact that it doesn’t always hit enough dramatic peaks coupled with some less than inspiring lyrics.