A double dose of the same old with a side of quality familiarity.
The Ghost Inside just want to be themselves, and they want you to be yourself. So being yourself means doing what you want and being who you want to be. For the LA group, that means writing the same album for the fourth time in a row. Thank fucking shit that the musical foundation they work off is so rock solid.
At the crux of The Ghost Inside is heart and passion. They’ve had, and preached that for years now, and new songs like ‘Out Of Control’ and ‘With The Wolves‘ embody this belief fully. Of course, angsty, self-motivating anthems like ‘Avalanche’, ‘Move Me’, ‘Wide Eyed’ and ‘Phoenix Flame‘ (just a few examples from the many) are littered throughout the album, and this is all pretty standard fare for most hardcore/metalcore bands. Although, if the band started writing about alien invasions or trying to join the Illuminati, then you’d think Jonathan Vigil and co. may have taken too many blows to the head. But hey, it’s great music to work out to, or at the very least, motivate you to try to think about working out.
Getting back on track, the problem here is, that like Taylor Swift singing about her relationships and her exes, these themes have already been covered before in the group's first three releases (the edgy, motivating themes, not the aliens or the Illuminati part), not to mention a plethora of other hardcore bands scream and sing about the same stuff too. Fuck, with all these bands telling us to be ourselves, you’d think that we wouldn’t have any personality flaws, wouldn’t need shrinks, or have to worry about any kinds of peer pressure to succumb to.
Song wise, one real notable number is ‘Mercy’, mainly because it’s arguably the heaviest and punchiest track of the bunch. The intro gives off a massive Acacia Strain vibe, just minus the unnecessary overuse of the word, ‘bitch’. Plus, the massive pre-breakdown pit-call of, ‘Life’s swinging hard, but I’m swinging harder’ is pretty dope, and if you don't like it, there's a chance that you just don't like fun and should check yourself into a mental ward this instant. On the other side of the spectrum is ‘Phoenix Flame’, a much more dynamic and melodic song and it’s one that definitely casts echoes back to the band's unofficial anthem, ‘White Light’. It’s even got some beautifully emotive strings at the end too, just to tease your ears, the wondrous scandal. These two songs are at opposing ends of The Ghost Inside's sound - the focused and the melodic, and the hard-hitting, pile driving musical fist to the face – but that's what makes them that much more unique and relevant than the bands usual hardcore musical meal.
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The song ‘Dear Youth (Day 52)’, is the real head turner (or rather, head-banger) of the album. It’s tempo and flow is perfectly executed like a pro-revolutionary guillotine show off during the French Revolution. It’s got more hooks than a local fishing club, and it sticks to your ears like some vastly potent adhesive long after you move onto the albums later songs, all of which are good, but they lack that extra kick and honest quality of the albums eponymous single, thus being a little lacklustre.
At the end of the day, ‘Dear Youth’ is the same old The Ghost Inside. Some will moan that it’s a missed opportunity for some much needed experimentation or deviation from the musical templates of yesteryear, and like a laser, they’d be right on point. However, ‘Dear Youth’ isn’t some old man slowly withering away in a retirement home waiting for it’s kids to call, it’s a non-arthritic, fully competent, fully independent adult, who may or may not soon be heading for a mid-life crisis.
Out Of Control
With The Wolves
Dear Youth (Day 52)
The Other Half