REVIEW: TERMINALS – BAPTISE EP (2024)

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Formed at the end of 2022 and hailing from Birmingham, Terminals are an alternative rock three-piece comprising James Whitehouse (vocals & guitar), James Cohu (bass) and Joe Cooper (drums) who release their five-track debut EP `Baptise` this month.

This extended play opens with `Swim` which the band have shared is “about trying to escape using alcohol. I used it as a coping mechanism to deal with loneliness after lockdown, and after some time I realised that whilst It made me feel a sense of euphoria, it deepened the problem. The lyrics touch upon how it made me feel on top of the world, swimming in a deep blue sky, but how it masked the high, burying me in gold.” The track has an appealing dreamlike quality with a sound that veers towards the genre referred to as shoegazing. We head into Korn come Deftones territory on `Depths` which again has a trancelike ambience which draws you into its many layers.

`Rise` breathes life for just under a minute and is a gentle aural soundscape which leads us by the hand into `Big Sky` which I found delightfully reflective almost introspective. It felt at times as if it was going to burst into life but managed to restrain itself and walk a tantalising tightrope, ending with the sound of a beating heart.

This extended play closes out with title track `Baptise` which is about life changes. Singer James Whitehouse has shared that “the lyrics touch upon how I couldn’t be saved by anyone other than myself. How running and hiding from life changes will stop you from moving forward. This is a significant song for me, as the message of accepting life’s changes and accepting ourselves is one we can all relate to.” It opens with a vibrating echoey bass line and vocals that seem almost pleading before drifting off into a more ethereal but powerfully edgy rock out. The final one hundred seconds flows into a heavier instrumental jam as the number concludes.

I`m a little surprised that I had not heard of Terminals as i`m a fellow Brummie but now intend to keep a close eye on this local trio.

There was so much to enjoy on the band`s debut ep and they managed to give a flavour of their varied sound over these few tracks. I very much look forward to what`s to follow and hopefully to catch the trio in a live setting.

Rating 8.5 / 10

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