The music and aesthetic of London-via-New York musician Gustav Ahr, better known as Lil Peep, is such a Frankenstein’s monster of rap, emo and indie rock that it’s tempting to suspect it came from a coldly calculating music industry boardroom rather than the creative voice of an independent artist.
Nevertheless, Peep’s been an organic internet sensation since around 2015, and he comes to Eugene behind this year’s heavily hyped full-length debut, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1. The album features the musician half-singing, half-rapping on adolescent and nihilistic tunes like “Better off (Dying)” and “Problems.”
And Peep’s open about a level of substance abuse that makes Amy Winehouse seem like a teetotaler. From “Problems” he slurs, “Every time we’re together I black out.” And on “U Said” he whines, “I get high all week without you.”
Highlight single “The Brightside” has a trap music-style backbeat and a lush, turquoise blue guitar sound recalling British bands like The XX, but is ultimately traceable back to The Cure. In fact, the bass-line intro to “U Said” could be lifted right off Cure classic Faith.
Overall, Come Over When You’re Sober succeeds on Peep’s genuine rock-star charisma that skirts the edge of danger. He smells like teen angst, with undeniable impact potential on his generation: a sad-boy Johnny Rotten or Kurt Cobain for young, post hip hop, genre-agnostic music seekers sourcing their new tunes from Soundcloud, Youtube and online mixtapes.
Lil Peep plays 8 pm Wednesday, Oct. 4, at Hi-Fi Music Hall; $20 advance, $25 door, all-ages.