They’ve been referred to as “well constructed madness.” I like to think of Ghost Color as a perfect merging of hard rock and punk with a healthy dose of jazz.
The Sacramento band is an up and coming, talented trio who would do well playing at festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Rock Fest, etc. The post-alternative band is similar to Ride, My Bloody Valentine or the Deftones. But with the vocals of Chris Winsted, there’s no question their new EP American Book Of The Dead sounds like shades of Incubus … just without the hook.
Amazingly, the band seems to care less about hooks or what other people think, proclaiming that they know their time as a band will come to an end some day, so they’re going to “concentrate only on making the music they want to make, the way they want to make it.” You have to give them credit for not selling out, especially while their following continues to grow. They’re composing the music they want with no apologies.
American Book Of The Dead is a solid listen for fans of post-punk/alternative or shoegaze. Each track is an incredible mix of melody and distorted dissonance.
It’s structured. It’s chaotic. And again, Winsted provides grade-A vocals.
Another thought — from several states away — there’s no way this band gets this far unless they’re amazing live. Anyone who’s played percussion or a six string knows heavy metal can be immensely difficult to master. And unless you have the natural chops, Jazz can be virtually impossible. Seriously, in reference to Spinal Tap, on a scale from 1 to 10, the music Ghost Color is creating is at an 11. They’ve found a way to blend both hard rock and jazz into a relatively distinct, experimental sound.
But just as with any emerging band, there are some growing pains. Ghost Color could benefit greatly from slightly better production. The composition of the songs is fairly monotonous, so more dynamics within the musical arrangement is needed. And while that construct doesn’t necessarily meaning ‘selling out,’ adding a catchy riff in each track could take this band to the next level. Again, I feel they’re on the verge of being an Incubus-type talent, they just need that extra hook.
These guys are seemingly doing plenty of things right. In fact, their philosophy is “Do it. Do it right. And do it RIGHT NOW.” That attitude is contagious. And as long as they continue to grow, Ghost Color should be a band on every hard-rock fan’s radar following the release of American Book Of The Dead.
Josh Helmuth is an editor for Crave and a longtime music lover whose first record was Eric Clapton. However, his first concert? That choice he will take to the grave.
Listen to American Book Of The Dead here.