Release Date: January 24, 2006
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
After months and months of anxious readers anticipating music from Sullivan, the band’s debut CD on Tooth & Nail records has hit shelves at the beginning of 2006. It’s unfortunate timing for the band, because with the album they’ve created, it’s almost certain that this record will be forgotten by many by the end of the year. A fairly safe release that lacks anything memorable, Hey, I’m a Ghost is plagued by mediocrity. Following the trend of post-hardcore rock without screaming (see: new Saosin, Terminal), Sullivan’s record simply drags. Though some might call the vocals unique, the high pitched thing isn’t new anymore, it’s old and busted. While the record isn’t terrible, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Each song seems to follow the same formula, and when the band tries to mix it up, they find themselves using the same techniques multiple times on the record. The choruses are full of hooks, but there are only so much of the pseudo-raw snotty vocals one can take. It seems like this release is attempting to be stripped down, but it instead comes off as unpolished without a hint of distinction.
There are several songs on the album that manage to stand out from the rest. “Ten Ways to Impress” begins with that oh-so-familiar pattern of accented downbeats layered over a single sustained chord that a lot of pop-rock bands use, the most obvious example being Acceptance’s “Permanent.” This is actually a good thing until the chorus hits, when it slows to a crawl and delivers an anthem of a melody that will undoubtedly get stuck in your head, whether by choice or not. “The Charity of St. Elizabeth” sounds remarkably like Underoath at times, but that could be partially attributed to the production. Matt Goldman produced this CD nearly identical to Underoath’s They’re Only Chasing Safety, and it shows. Other than that, it’s a great, sweeping song that transforms itself several times and ends in dramatic fashion. “How I Remember You” is a beautiful acoustic song that progresses into soaring guitars accompanied by pleasant vocal harmonies. “Promise Me” kicks the energy back up as the album nears it’s end.
Sullivan’s debut record certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Though there are certain aspects that stand out, they seem to recycle melodies and song structure throughout the entire record. It’s by no means an awful debut, but it just doesn’t achieve anything to make it memorable. The choruses any momentum the songs had, and the record just seems to be constantly dragging its feet. Fans of the nu-screamo wave will really enjoy this record. It’s catchy, the lyrics are decent, and it’s accessibly. But as it stands, Sullivan desperately needs more variation in their songwriting because this is a forgettable release.
it's hilarious that everyone begs for more negative reviews, then whenever one is posted, the author just gets torn apart. each to their own.
I really like this review, i listened to it a bunch of times waiting for it to sound better, but it never did. There are a few good songs at the beginning of the CD that reminded me a little of AFI, and some of the lyrics were clever, but overall it's very forgettable. I do think they have some potential though and i think that future efforts could be a lot better. Don't
my band played a show with them and the fold way back in september. the fold was really cool and super nice guys, they even hung out with me and my other guitarist and ate cake. However i do remember Sullivan being kind of stuck up, and not very good overall
heh, we played a show with them also in the last few months, and ditto on the not too hot live comment. it looked as if we were the only people left watching them when they finally got to stage. and this was in their/our hometown. :( kinda sad.
thank you for an honest review! 4.7 sounds just about right.
edit: apparently their purevolume labels their hometown as chapel hill. oh well.