Album Review: Cardinal Bay – Way Back Home EP

Cardinal Bay are a post-hardcore quintet from Somerset, although their sound is closer to that of American bands like Saosin or Alexisonfire. The classic post-hardcore mix of melodic guitars, heavy riffs and clean vocal choruses are present by the bucketload, but is there enough on new EP ‘Way Back Home’ to make Cardinal Bay stand out from the crowd?

Title track, ‘Way Back Home’, has an almost Mallory Knox reminiscent sound, with soft clean vocals courtesy of Josh Rodgers contrasting with the jarring post hardcore riffs. It almost feels like you are waiting for a heavier part, or something a bit more dynamic to drop, unfortunately though the song stays pretty flat throughout. The track provides a solid start to the EP but leaves plenty of room for variation to follow.

Thankfully the more sombre tones of ‘Hold Tight’ changes everything up a bit. The haunting backing vocals in the chorus giving a really dark yet catchy post hardcore vibe.‘Everytime’ provides another slant again, with growled vocals and a crushingly catchy riff. It makes it clear that Cardinal Bay can write good, catchy songs without straying far from the genre blueprint.

There are so many post hardcore bands at this level that it takes something really special to make the step up. ‘Way Back Home’ is a solid debut from Cardinal Bay and shows that they certainly aren’t lacking in songwriting ability. Each track here works well and the EP flows like it should, with the only real criticism being that the band need to hone their own sound and find something which sets them apart from similar bands in the scene. ‘Way Back Home’ is a debut which provide the band a great base to build upon in the rest of 2015.


’Way Back Home’ by Cardinal Bay is out now

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Words by Andy McGonigle (@andyjmcg87)


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