Though Ghost Thrower‘s sound has changed a little over the years, the band have always put out enjoyable material. The band’s eponymous debut album is generally a very tight affair, brimming with eleven tracks of self-depreciating punk-influenced emo/indie rock.
If ‘Ghost Thrower’ succeeds in anything, it’s showing that the band are a competent quintet. The passion with which they deliver each song and the ideas they employ are both at times breathtaking and evident throughout the album’s stronger moments, including the one-hundred second ‘When Are You Coming Home?’, ‘The King Of Louisiana’ and ‘Young Luck’, one of the more sombre tracks present, the latter of which really offers many of the strongest melodies throughout.
While singer Travis Alexander‘s vocals are fairly monotonous over the course of the record, his bitter lyrics and his voice, full of regret, sounds completely believable and acts as the perfect layer on top of the soft, often nostalgic, sound the band brings to the table.
Really though, the main flaw in ‘Ghost Thrower’ is that it’s far from being the cohesive record it wants you to think it is. While the music is thoroughly enjoyable all around, the album jumps between sombre and depressing to fast and abrasive all too often to make any real sense. ‘Halloween In Brooklyn’ and ‘Lemons’ are both upbeat punk jams in the style of Basement or a sad Joyce Manor, whilst ‘When Are You Coming Home?’ bleeds At The Drive-In influence.
In contrast, the second half of the album seems far less memorable and far more restrained. Sure, the music’s good, but not really all that interesting when placed against the stronger tracks in the first half. That being said, ‘Young Luck’, one of the slowest tracks on the album, resembles an early Brand New, but it’s enjoyable despite its length. Album closer, ‘Worry-Addled Brain’ seems to be very underwhelming too, but if the repeated motif of “Where we you when the world exploded?” doesn’t have you shouting along in your bedroom, then I don’t know what will.
While ‘Ghost Thrower’ proves that the band are one to watch, the album would be far better if it had a clearer sense of cohesion. With that being said, it’s a fairly enjoyable and infectious release with fantastic production, even if it does rely a little too much on repetition.
Written by Jack Boaden
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS!