Sneaking in before the end of the year, Spectral Fires have delivered a short four-track EP. The Melbourne melodic hardcore band have conjured up four tracks for their Turn Toward the Sun EP, delivering what should be their cream of the crop. It’s only four tracks, there’s no room to hide. Four tracks in a genre that seems to be bursting at the seems with unoriginal melodies and genre copycats. And I can safely say that Spectral Fires have delivered an EP that stands out amongst their peers.
While Spectral Fires still run with the grain of the hardcore genre, they deliver enough diversity in the four tracks that showcases a band that are conscious of where they are not only in the genre, but in their song writing career. Opening with Just A Mirage, Spectral Fires begin with thunderous drum crashes and echoing guitar riffs, vocalist Jack Jeffree delivers a passionate performance weaving between a growl and melodic hardcore vocals. The diversity of melodic backing vocals against a devlish grown isn’t new to the genre, but the way that Jeffree adds a slight melody to his own energetic groan elevates the music at hand. The chorus is memorable and one of my favourites on the EP.
Instrumentally, Spectral Fires pair various guitar tones together to add further depth to their blend of hardcore. Transparency begins with softly strummed electric notes, until a sludgy overdriven guitar begins to take over. Jeffree again delivers a passionate performance, showcasing the vocal range of his growl. The track culminates with an intense and energetic crescendo, backing vocals yell in unison against the dissonant electric guitars.
Before You Leave showcases a poppy side to the band with their chant-like chorus, almost like a heavier Blink 182 track. In saying that, I think it’s the least inspired track on the EP. Especially when there’s only three other tracks to compare it too.
Closing track Starting Over is the smartest track on the EP as the band weave more dynamic elements into their hardcore. Various vocal changes shift the tone of the song, as well as instrumental crescendo and decrescendos. The pop-punk tone of the vocals does become irksome, but all annoyance is soon resolved as the vocals become more passionate towards the end of the track. It’s a solid closer to the short EP.
In four short songs, Spectral Fires have been able stay within the realms of their genre, while delivering enough elements to give their contemporaries a run for their money. The various working elements of their blend of hardcore and punk come together cohesively, to provide a catchy and compelling batch of tracks. It’s left me wanting more from Spectral Fires, and I have a feeling that they can deliver.
Spectral Fires’ EP Turn Toward the Sun is available Friday 7th December.
This review is based upon a copy of Turn Toward the Sun made available before release.