I first heard about
The band played
What was crazy to me about
It turns out my Jawbox association with
Ghosts makes me think two things: 1) This is awesome, and 2) Please don’t break up. In a way, it’s both a logical progression from Unsettled – guitar pyrotechnics abound, like on the solo for “4017” – and an overview of the band’s 10 years together. There are throwbacks to Private Property’s screams, and two of the tracks, “The Ghost Intrigue” and closer “The Finish Line,” are finished versions of demos from the Frog Octopus Wolf EP. Though the band’s angular post-hardcore will appeal to At the Drive-In fans, there are some indie inflections, like on the string-laden ballad “Words.” Of course, “Words” features another searing guitar solo at its conclusion, so maybe calling it a “ballad” is an exaggeration.
Musically, this is a great way to go out. Ali Hassan’s (Bouncing Souls, Loved Ones) production is a little dry – opener “Bomb Shelter” feels like it could use more power – but he still captures the band’s essence. This is a kickass rock record. Lyrically, though, this might be one of the saddest albums of 2009. While some of this material is pre-Unsettled, it’s hard not to take a lot of the lines about feeling weary and worn out as indicative of the band’s dissolution. Heck, one song is called “Requiem.” Some of it might be in my head, but lines like “We’re barely living but we’re hoping to go soon,” “‘Cause I don’t feel it / I don’t feel it coming in so I’m going down / I’ll find a way out,” etc., certainly carry that angle to them. And it’s hard not to think “The Finish Line” was purposefully set up as the closing track.
“You call yourself tired / I’m just as tired as you are” sing Rodriguez and Fair in unison. Then they hit the chorus – “Who cares if they fire us / We’ll just quit.” It’s ostensibly a song about touring and worrying about everything being OK back home. Here, as the last song of the last
Which is exactly why I don’t want