Review: Battleghost – Transient [EP]

Transient is Battleghost‘s third EP, and from the sounds of things, it’s by no means their last. It’s their second release since 2012’s full-length This May Hurt A Little, and Battleghost have been getting a bigger and bigger crowd over the past couple of years. Transient‘s probably the sort of thing that the faithful will lap up with no issue, but it’s going to have a harder time converting the sceptics.

It all starts out pretty well, with violins fading into heavier riffs and some great harmonies, but as soon as ‘Mumbles’ transitions into ‘Stateless’, it’s pretty clear that this is just your standard pop-punk record. To be fair, there’s plenty of nice little moments in ‘Stateless’ – Dorian Cooke’s soft but measured vocals punch through the guitars with ease, and there’s some catchy hooks coming out to play. Lots of this carries across throughout the record. In ‘Contentions’, the chugging chorus playfully riffs off the ‘popcore’ scene, and ‘Locust Grove’ is an impassioned ode to hometown blues. Everything is really tight, the production is fantastic and it’s all rounded off by a great fade out. Not enough bands do fade outs any more. But the issue is that all the tracks blend into one without any real distinction.

It’s unfair to compare the new generation to old pop-punk stalwarts – the sound is totally different, and so is the ethos. But on picking up a Blink-182 or New Found Glory record (well, until Coming Home), you were treated to plenty of personality and a cheeky bit of risk taking. Every song had its own feel, but all threaded through into a coherent piece. Perhaps this is the issue with EPs – there’s not enough room to grow, and instead, each track becomes a repeat of the next. At least Transient is an easy listen – it’s a pleasant enough background record, with some nice melodies and decent riffs. Sadly, that’s its defining trait.

Transient is by no means bad, but it just doesn’t stand out. Sure, Battleghost are one of the better bands playing around with this kind of sound at the moment, but even so, their pop-punk stylings don’t really carry any weight. Transient is a decent listen, but unfortunately, it’s very soon forgotten.

3 out of 5 high fives!