Ghost Ocean – The Places We Know
Release Date: December 28, 2012
Record Label: Self-released
It is evident from first listen that The Places We Know is not Ghost Ocean’s first release. Their previous EP, Transparent Lines, was released just a year prior and featured some decent songs. Decent, but not on the level of anything from this release. The Places We Know was one of the best EPs released last year, for sure.
The Massachusetts-based quintet play a melodic post hardcore-influenced indie rock in the vein of Make Do and Mend’s latest that shows right from the first track from the album. “Perfection of Form” begins with a catchy guitar riff and the first words are delivered in a manner that reminds me slightly of, oddly enough, a Motion City Soundtrack song. The first real taste of the singer’s yelly style is during the bridge, in which he sings, “When you want it/ and you need it/ you’ll see perfection.” The song opens the album well, being one of the more accessible and catchiest songs on the album. Following track “Blank Canvas” is one of my two clear favorites on the album, again showing how the band can be catchy, but not without sacrificing a slight edge. If someone asked me what Ghost Ocean sounds like at their very best, I’d play them this song.
“It’s so comical/ when faced with this failing art/ we are the colors in movement/ there is something to display/ in these waking days/ we are the colors in movement.”
Musically, “In Clear View,” is the happiest song here. Coupled with its bright lyrics and chorus, it’s easily the lightest track, but probably also the weakest, save for its explosive bridge. “Chase the Life” is next, another happy song, but better than its predecessor because of the more impressive instrumentation.
“It’s faster to take the blame/ an empty page with no words to say/ you started this, I’ll finish it.”
“Chase the Life” fades into my other favorite song, “Small Town.” Its chorus is ridiculously infectious, and I dare you not to scream, “You started this, I’ll finish it.” Closer “Crowded Sound” has an aura of finality about it. It is the most aggressive track, as well as the fastest-paced. It’s Ghost Ocean at their angriest, but it most certainly pays off. I said it in the very first paragraph: this was one of the best EPs released last year. Ghost Ocean has everything: solid musicians, a good vocalist, post-hardcore grittiness, and catchy choruses.
“Scream loud/ as we found/ chaos in this dying sound.”
I understand the MCS-reference, the song is sort of messy in it's structure that reminds me of early MCS them to. This is a solid release, sort of laid-back listen. They manage to make it feel poppy and raw at the same time (also a bit MSC-ish i guess), I'll probably spin this walking in the sun on my way to work.