Review Summary: Sleepless nights aren't new to me, all these thoughts are killing me.
From the opening notes of “Cardiac Arrest”, it’s clear that Bad Suns are a group that can set themselves apart from the rest of the indie pop scene. By melding the genre’s delicate melodies with rock-driven riffs played by talented instrumentalists, a more atmospheric sound is presented that propels them above many of its generic offerings. Frontman Christo Bowman’s vocal style is similar at times to Smallpools’ Sean Scanlon and Bastille’s Dan Smith; he’s able to reach the high notes without straining, plus he adds a dash of emotion in every song. The band’s greatest talent is their flair for writing infectious and catchy hooks – the best example of this is the aforementioned lead single “Cardiac Arrest”, which blends the EP’s slick production (done by Eric Palmquist, best known for his work with The Mars Volta and The Ataris) with Bowman’s passionate vocals and the simple yet memorable drumming of Miles Morris.
If “Cardiac Arrest” showed off a more downbeat side of the band, the title cut has Bad Suns at its most anthemic and feel-good. “And I can’t stop even if I wanted to”, Bowman cries as he chronicles his ongoing battle against depression and insomnia, in sharp contrast to the song’s jittery instrumentation. Transpose
does fall victim to something that commonly plagues indie pop releases, and that is a lack of variation. The EP’s last two songs – “Salt” and “20 Years” – fall short of the high standards set by its highlights. The latter suffers especially from a lack of energy, and the normally energetic vocals have been reduced to monotony. Luckily, the instrumentation is able to redeem them from its banal structure. Although Transpose
may let down in its final two tracks, it’s clear that Bad Suns are a skilled new group with instrumental talent and a skilled vocalist to boast. Given the captivating sounds of “Cardiac Arrest” and “Transpose”, Their upcoming full-length debut is one to keep an eye on.