Back in 2003, I was on holiday in America and I bought my first Less Than Jake album, ‘Anthem’. As soon as opening track ‘Welcome To The New South’ hit my ears, a song which talks of isolation, rejection, feelings of loneliness, I knew I’d found a band who I could relate to and got me, and it brought me a lot of comfort to know that others were going what I went through.
Oh, sure, there’s no question that it contributed heavily to usual bouts of teen angst that EVERYONE goes through, but it did bring me some solace in the darker moments, as it did for countless others too. Music is pretty great for shit like that, huh.
Fast forward fourteen years (holy shit… fourteen years?!), and in that time there have been a handful more albums that triggered a similar knee-jerk connection between music and emotion. However, none have done so with such devastating effect as Ghoul‘s latest album ‘Run’ has.
Opening with ‘Seasonal Affective’, which talks of (you guessed it) seasonal affective disorder, fleeting friendships, and the impossible to ignore urge to just run away from all… this, you know the album is going to be more of a therapy session than a casual listen. Especially so for those trapped the 9am-5pm weekly slog.
That’s not to say that ‘Run’ is a weep fest akin to a La Dispute or Pianos Become The Teeth album, as there are more frivolous numbers that will no doubt force a grin, thanks to the tongue-in-cheek lyrics and smack of ska sprinkled throughout the LP. Still, if you were to place Ghouls on a ska punk spectrum, they would align to the moodier side along with the likes of Streetlight Manifesto and Less Than Jake.
Either way, Ghouls‘ latest album ‘Run’ is a vital and cathartic listen for any fan of the ska punk scene, or just punk rock in general; one for the every member of the disenfranchised, disillusioned and disregarded.
Written by Andy Roberts (@Sassensquatch)