Combining the post-hardcore stylings of Sleeping With Sirens (minus the incredibly high vocals), a somewhat gothic cloaking akin to the likes of My Chemical Romance and Aiden with a traditional British pop-rock twang, Northern outfit Bentley Park are fresh faces on the scene looking to stick out amongst their peers. On looks alone, you’d expect yet another rehash of a Young Guns wannabe at work here, but this quintet assert themselves as something much more with their new EP, ‘Innocence’.
The lingering delivery of the first lyrics to ‘Blood Ties’, the EP’s opening track, instantly declares that Bentley Park are not another one of your standard British pop-rockers trying to follow the footsteps of recent success stories like Mallory Knox and Blitz Kids. There’s a theatrical aspect to take into account here, which could easily bring some comparisons to post-hardcore favourites, Chiodos. Closing track ‘Nil To The Fools, One To The Thieves’ and it’s ivory clad introduction bears some similarities to that of The Used‘s hit single, ‘The Bird And The Worm’, again bringing forth that somewhat theatrical feel to it all.
What also sticks out is frontman James Shaw‘s rather dry and, in some cases, witty lyrics, similar to that of Lower Than Atlantis‘ own Mike Duce. It’s not often you come across lines like “I try to get it back and make amends, but I’d rather just sit and watch Scrubs and Friends” (‘No Hope For The Hopeless’) and “It’s such a pity, but this girl is a fitty” (‘Dear Luscious’) with such conviction, and his ability to pull off pop-friendly cleans and guttural screams and growls with such ease is something that’s not achieved well often enough in this genre.
The strongest highlight of ‘Innocence’, however, lies in the high-octane ‘Sly//ther’, in which we see Bentley Park at their heaviest in the track’s closing moments, yet also has one of catchiest choruses with “Take your filthy fingers off me”. If they stick with a calibre of tracks like this going ahead, Bentley Park could well be seeing great success on the horizon once a full-length effort drops.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)