You can't keep good punks down, however, and as of this year, the Saints have reformed, helmed by original vocalist George Anthony. They've hit the ground running with a new 7-inch EP, comprising three songs and six and a half minutes. Across those six minutes and change, the band comes out of the gates strong, restating their sense of purpose with a crunchy and crusty hardcore punk sound that's fierce enough to have been played by a much younger band, but delivered with the kind of efficient expertise that only veterans can pull off.
The three tracks on the EP are all pretty similar in approach: loud guitars, breakneck tempos and a ferocious bark from Anthony, all in less than two and a half minutes a pop. It's to Battalion of Saints' credit that they're able to get as much out of that simple set up as they do. The 95-second first track "Darkness" sets the pace with an almost too-fast, careening hardcore gallop that comes to a halt just as it seems like the whole thing's going to fall apart. "Nightmare" is a more groove-heavy standout that sets their hardcore menace against a surf-rock rhythm, and "Bombs" is a highly explosive (pun intended) and endlessly thrilling closer.
There's nothing all that new about what Battalion of Saints do on their new self-titled EP. It's an extension of what they've been up to for more than 35 years, but it feels a little bit louder and a little bit faster. As hardcore goes, it does absolutely everything right, proving that old punks can stay relevant long after the scene has moved on.