Alabama metalcore outfit ERRA have been generating a lot of buzz for themselves over the years, touring with the likes of Northlane and August Burns Red, and releasing their critically acclaimed album ‘Dirt’ on Sumerian Records last year. All that’s not enough for singer and guitarist Jesse Cash, however, who has undertaken an ambitious solo side-project, Ghost Atlas. Having released two EPs under this alias, Cash is now back with his debut full-length, the impressively titled ‘All Is In Sync And There Is Nothing Left To Sing About’.
This is certainly polished, impressive work for a solo project, and the only thing reminiscent of ERRA here is Cash‘s distinctive, impassioned vocals. Melodious, squealing guitar parts and infectious drum beats are the order of the day here, and it’s bound to make you nostalgic for the alt rock peak of the mid-2000s. Cash‘s poetic and imaginative lyrics are the perfect complement to his soaring vocals; “I believe the dead won’t remain the cold / Bury me with souls lost in vacant bones,” he implores on opener and standout track, ‘Cry Wolf’.
Ghost Atlas‘ sound is very 2008 – you can almost hear these songs being played on a teenager’s MySpace profile somewhere in the echoing corridors of the Internet – but that isn’t a bad thing. There’s more than a fleeting similarity to bands like Saosin, especially on ‘Badlands’ with its infectious chorus, while the poppy ‘Vertigo’ is evocative of early Sleeping With Sirens.
On the downside, it can be hard to differentiate one song from another, especially on the first listen. The first few tracks feel fresh and relevant, but as there’s not much variety here, that wears off as the album goes on. Each track merges somewhat clumsily into another, until the whole album feels like a careering, melody heavy, tremolo-packed snowball, with little to break it up. Acoustic track ‘Scouts Honour’ does provide some respite from the power chords, and it’s pleasant enough, if a little bland. Ghost Atlas are just playing it a bit too safe to be exciting.
If you can’t get enough of Saosin‘s debut album, you’ll probably love this. Otherwise, at 12 tracks with little variation between them, you may find it a bit hard going. Cash obviously has bags of talent, but you just can’t help wishing that he’d be a bit more adventurous with it. In spite of its faults, ‘All Is In Sync And There Is Nothing Left To Sing About’ is a record that knows what it wants to say, and does so wholly cohesively. Everything is in sync, but let’s hope that there will be more to sing about next time.
Written by Lottie Cook (@pixelottie)
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