Friday, April 1, 2016
Cassette Review: The Only Ghost In Town "Peculiar Smiles: 2010-2015" (Rok Lok Records)
[$5 // Edition of 50 // https://roklokrecords.bandcamp.com/album/peculiar-smiles-2010-2015]
When I first pressed play on this it came out as acoustic bliss. At first, I heard something between Smashing Pumpkins and an emo band-- let's say Taking Back Sunday or Brand New. But as we got further into Side A, the songs shifted. They were still loud and full of static only now they had some melody to them which reminded me of Weezer and The Rocket Summer. Through all of the noise there is also this amazing cover of "Stars" by Hum, which is acoustic.
Can I make a suggestion here? I feel like a lot of people making music (both musicians and those with cassette based labels) are around the same age as me and remember things like Mtv's 120 Minutes, am I right? How awesome would it be to have a collection of songs- on cassette of course- from our favorite bands from the 1990's that are known as "one hit wonders" to some but really just have these great albums out there which never caught mainstream attention. Everyone from Superdrag to Blind Melon could be covered and it'd be like our own little "No Alternative". (As a bonus feature, I'd have Side A be the number one hit for a band, such as say Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train" and Side B being a lesser known but loved song by the same artist. Think about it)
Through Side B, The Only Ghost In Town begins to get away from that emo sound I was feeling on Side A and into straight up rock. It's loud, it's clanky and of course it brings out ideas of bands such as The Casket Lottery and The Canterbury Effect, two bands I still love but feel don't get enough comparisons out there right now. Plowing through the softer side into the harsher side (like Hum would do) there is also a song called "I Love You Half The Time" which is just what radio hits are made of if such a thing as rock radio still existed. Yes, if this was 1990something I'd fully expect to hear this song all over Radio 104, but alas they are more concerned now with... Umm... I don't listen to the radio really, sorry.
I can't help but pull comparisons between the song "You Were Right" and Nirvana's "You Know You're Right", but it's okay because I would rather hear something which was close to sounding like Nirvana than something which sounds like any band currently on the radio. Geez, I can't remember the last time I listened to the radio though since I keep a steady supply of CDs with me in the car now, but yeah, I just imagine it as all being like Disturbed and Evanescence still. Is that right?
What The Only Ghost In Town does throughout this cassette is become the band that I wanted to hear when I was fifteen but also the band that I wanted to hear when I was twenty-one and as such it even has the sound that I love still to this day. There is something timeless about these songs and I feel like no matter how old I get I will never tire of hearing them or anyone else who chooses to attempt this musically but, trust me, it's not all as easy as The Only Ghost In Town might make it seem.