The Haunt - Do Not Resuscitate

The Haunt – Do Not Resuscitate (EP Review)

The Haunt band

Out of Florida, The Haunt are a Alt-Rock band focused around siblings Anastasia Grace Haunt (vocals) and Maxamillion “Max” Haunt (vocals, guitar, production). Perhaps still very new to some, they previously released two EPs, amassed a ton of streams, and are now set to unveil their next EPDo Not Resuscitate, on April 5, 2024 via Nettwerk.

Though still quite a young group, it is clear that The Haunt have put in a lot of hours developing and refining their sound. This new EP’s title rightly suggests The Haunt’s interest in dark imagery, and while they do lean towards the Gothic, the storytelling in their songs reflects the inner emotional struggles and real-world questions about self-image. Having said that, the Do Not Resuscitate EP is a concept album in its own, very specific way, since the emotional arc of the songs turn on one pivot – an unhealthy relationship moving through its last damaging phases.

While each of these songs can stand on their own, listening to them in EP order could reveal the stages of realizations about a combat-infused romantic entanglement. The opener, “FML,” is the hardest-hitting track emotionally as the speaker concludes that they are caught in a loop of suffering of their own making, repeating mistakes made in returning to a bad relationship. Chant-like lyrics take a hard-eyed look at the pattern underway that can only turn out badly. This is while a heavier second half is sonically more pointed and even veers towards screaming vocals.

Then there are “Little Like Hell” and “I Don’t Like The Quiet” which create more contemplative spaces after a heavy start, lit up by Classic Rock feels, old school vocals, and a Pop-Punk speed driving an internal monologue. We learn more about the state of this relationship, including a yo-yo feeling of back and forth (dramatized in the video for “Little Like Hell” by puppet strings) and the pretty damning idea in “I Don’t Like The Quiet” that the other party was trying to silence the speaker; which is a brutal truth in the midst of fear and loss.

Others like “Damage” and “Morally Incompetent” deserve a little extra consideration as tracks that do not necessarily set the stage for a troubled relationship and recovery, though they are complementary to that theme. “Damage” could also be seen in terms of calling someone out, and reaching a state of mind where a showdown is possible, and maybe necessary. “Morally Incompetent,” instead, suggests a whole scene and lifestyle that may be a disintegrating influence or one that leads to low self-esteem.

Bringing things full circle is the more delicate, melodic Rock “On My Grave” which has that quieter feeling, where the speaker begins to put the pieces together again. While they seem to take some ownership of the conflicts and uncertainties they have faced, they potentially turn a corner by reaching a place of acceptance, leading into the very key closing line “Love should not feel like a war.” Honestly, that really is the tagline for the EP and shows a great deal of artistic thought in terms of putting together this collection of songs.

The Haunt have been gradually refining and building their identity through the course of their EPs. Exploring a number of sonic options from Rock to heavier music and electronica, they show no sign of slowing down in continuing to evolve. While an EP that focuses mainly on one intense and difficult idea – the grueling demise of a relationship – may not be for everyone, unfortunately almost all human beings can relate to these experiences and may find the openness in the lyrics to be a relief. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives the Do Not Resuscitate EP 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Haunt - Do Not Resuscitate
The Haunt – Do Not Resuscitate / Nettwerk (2024)

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