Opening with a song titled ‘Renascentia’, which is Latin for rebirth, suggests that melodic punk rockers Energy are dead set on using new record Apparition Sound as the start of something of a relaunch.
However, despite later on boasting the bite which their name suggests, this record opens slowly, with a functionless instrumental that can be skipped without fear. This is less of a rebirth and more a rehash, as the band have once again opened one of their records using a dull instrumental track.
Sadly, follow up track ‘New Worlds of Fear’ is also a miss. And despite it’s attempt at upping the power with muted screaming and a variation on a well-worn vocal pattern, nothing truly lingers her either, making this another skippable album track.
Energy are at their best when they sound like they’re having fun, but the opening one-two feels like a stifled attempt at becoming a band that they are simply not good at being.
Thankfully, ‘Another Yesterday’ kicks off the record properly. This is a catchy and fun filled punk rock song that is perfectly weighted in terms of melody and reckless abandonment.
‘Dead in Dreamland’ is another hit. This is a dose of punk rock fun doused in a horror-rock sheen that really adds a lot to the quality of the proficient old-school bare-bones formula that is consistent throughout this section of the record. ‘Pet Sematary’, an infectiously fun cover of a Ramones hit, proves the band are more than comfortable in performing mid-paced songs as well. Stephen King would be proud.
Another strength is the composed performance throughout from frontman Josh Tankerley. He feels comfortable with the material, most of which he was responsible for, and despite the false start, this record has a nice flow to it. Songs drift and melt into each other well, helping the album achieve an overall feeling of cohesiveness.
Album closer ‘They’ attempts to add variety to the record with it’s emotional opening, lengthy runtime, and extended instrumental section, but it feels a little too late. Despite that niggling annoyance, this is a strong closing, with Tankerley finally striking an emotive chord on a record short of many truly tender moments.
With only eight songs, and one dodgy instrumental opening, it feels as if we are yet to see the best from Energy. A strong mid-point shows that this is a band with great ideas, it is just a shame that they eventually give way to increasingly formulaic song structures. Still, this record is well polished and has many more good moments than bad ones.
Vocals are clean and crisp, and there are enough hooks to keep you singing along after the short runtime has expired. The simple choruses will provide some fun call-backs at future live shows and is well worth your time if you’re craving a retro-tinged melodic punk rock record that has occasional moments of joy.
Apparition Sound is out in the UK on February 3rd via Monster Party Records.