Little over a year since the release of their debut, post-hardcore five-piece Cardinal Bay are smashing out a second hit of breathless alt-rock in the form of latest release, Answers. Let’s see if this Bridgwater band have got it in them to make waves with this second, more personal EP…
An atmospheric opener introduces us to the record with title track ‘Answers’, combining Brit alt-rock akin to the likes of Mallory Knox and Deaf Havana with the synth-rock of post-hardcore, something of a similar style to American band PVRIS. It’s a very ‘in’ move right now, and keeping fresh is something that bodes well for Cardinal Bay. In contrast, they then follow up with full-throttle ‘Out of Sight’, which immediately does away with all that eerie, ambient nonsense and goes straight for the jugular. No frills, as it goes, works just as well for this band.
Despite a halfway lull, the EP shows itself in the best light towards the end. Penultimate track ‘Masquerade’ has a delicious, rich depth that the other songs lack, thankfully steering them away from the danger zone of giving everything on the surface and becoming a copycat band. This one feels more from the heart. The record ends on a hopeful note with ‘There Are No Flames in Hell’, with an engaging, catchy sound, even venturing into pop hooks every now and again.
Answers signs off on a high, setting bars that it fails to reach elsewhere on the record. This record does trip, stumble and occasionally fall flat, but that doesn’t mean that the vibe is full of potential.
Answers by Cardinal Bay is available now via self-release.