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Since the release of 'This is Where the Fight Begins' in 2007, The Ghost of a Thousand have toured relentlessly. Headlining in small venues around the UK on several occasions, and securing support slots on tours with bands such as Alexisonfire and Gallows along the way. Following their signature with Epitaph Records (who also signed British bands The Blackout and Youmeatsix this year), the band release 'New Hopes, New Demonstrations' to set out to solidify their status as one of the UK's leading hard rock artists.
The album opens with 'Moved as Mountains, Dreamt of by the Sea', which is two and a half minutes of relentless hard rock. Recently heard live on their tour with Gallows, this song does not disappoint on record, maintaining the energy which makes the band so entertaining to watch. First single 'Bright Lights' follows and maintains the pace set from the opening track. Put up on their MySpace a couple of months ago, the track builds from a simple, yet memorable riff and ends with a chaotic mess of instruments and vocalists Tom Lacey's aggression powering through.
'Knees, Toes, Teeth' has a Rock n Roll swagger similar to that of the Bronx and provides one of the standout tracks on the album. Opening with the line "F*****g new romantics, it's only rock-n-roll, this is our religion as heaven we'll never know.' Lacey delivers a memorably powerful line that self-explanatorily outlines the bands dedication to what they do and how much they genuinely believe in their music and what they are doing.
After the ferocity of the first few opening tracks, the pace somewhat slows with 'Split the Atom'. The vocals move away from the raw approach to give more clarity to the words, and it a dark message that is conveyed that sums up the negative view of the UK for the majority of the population currently. With bands such as The Ghost of a Thousand and Gallows having such negative views of the country, it seems that the depression is at least feeding the talent pool of musicians in the UK.
One of the most appealing aspects of TGOAT is their no-nonsense approach to song-writing. The guitar work in their music provides a solid catalyst for all of their music to creative an aggressive sound, but at the same time maintain a focused idea on where the song should go and where the song should end. There is never a point in any song where you have to ask yourself if the part really fits or if it is at all necessary, every component fits and belongs where it is places in the song.
After 'Neptune' hoists the album back up to full pace, a short interlude piece introduces the most 'different' track that The Ghost of a Thousand have made. 'Nobody Likes a Hero' really reminds me of something that Refused could have produced at some point in their relatively short career. The verse of the song complimented with electronic drums breaks into a heavy riff-based section of the song, before returning to a calmer, piano accompanied outro. A demonstration that the band can do something different with their music and do it well.
The album continues to impress, coming to a conclusion with 'Good Old Fashioned Loss' after the storm of previous tracks 'Running On Empty' and 'Fed to the Ocean'. The lyrics and music of the concluding track bring the album to a dark end not heard in TGOAT's music before. It brings a message of wanting to see the World in a more positive light and dealing with the pain of loss. The last two minutes being purely instrumental give the song an almost haunting sound, letting the message of what has gone before you set in. It is fitting end to an album that can be described in one word as 'powerful'.
The Ghost of a Thousand have made an exceptional album, following on from their debut in perfect style. They haven't just stuck to the style which has seen them gain more popularity, they have built on the platform they made for themselves before and produced an album of 11 strong songs. 'New Hopes, New Demonstrations' should see TGOAT regarded as one of the best bands in the country at what they do. Hopefully this will see them continue their unforgiving tour schedule and convert more people to their cause.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Moved As Mountains, Dreamt Of By The Sea
2 Bright Lights
3 Knees, Toes, Teeth
4 Canyons Of Static
5 Split The Atom
7 Small Mercies
8 Nobody Likes A Hero
9 Running On Empty
10 Fed To The Ocean N
11 Good Old Fashioned Loss